Relevancy: Why Student Competitions Help Promote Civil Engineering

June 7, 2013
UC-Berkeley wins 2013 National Student Steel Bridge Competition

UC-Berkeley wins 2013 National Student Steel Bridge Competition
(image courtesy of UC-Berkeley)

Congratulations to the University of California, Berkeley’s student civil engineering team for their second consecutive win of the National Student Steel Bridge Competition.  And congratulations as well to the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and the University of California, Davis who earned second and third place overall at the finals in Seattle.  What can you do with this news?

In this column, we share a variety of ideas to help civil engineers promote the profession.  Student competitions are a wonderful way to showcase that engineering education can be both challenging and fun. Whether building a steel bridge or a concrete canoe, a lot of imagination, problem solving and collaboration are involved.

Think about this.  If you were a high school student wondering what it’s like to be an engineering student in college, would you rather hear about the rigorous courses you’ll be taking or the fun project-based activities can do with your friends to learn real engineering?

These student competitions are very relevant to the next generation.  Even younger students enjoy building bridges and floating boats. As you plan your next outreach event, visit ASCE’s Kids, Parents and Teachers page on our website for more ideas.  You’ll find lots of activities to help inspire imagination. Meanwhile, share the win through your Section or Branch social media.

Who knows?  Maybe one of the kids you work with will grow up to be on a winning team for a civil engineering student competition and help promote the profession in their community.

What’s your favorite outreach activity?  What kinds of questions did the kids or teachers ask you?


Audrey Caldwell

Senior Manager, Corporate Communications

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