August 2018 – President’s Message

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President’s Message
by Garrett Dekker

Every year for Engineer’s Week, professional engineers make a push to raise awareness for STEM programs in local K-12 schools. Like clockwork, many of us venture off to the nearest school and present the same tried and true materials that have been used every year. The idea, of course, is to spark the interest and imagination of the students; to recruit the next generation of inspired engineers. Anyone would agree that one student’s captive interest is worth the half day’s effort, and what student wouldn’t be captivated by spaghetti towers and popsicle stick bridges?

The benefits of student outreach extend far beyond an afternoon spent in the classroom and should not necessarily be limited by the confines of Engineer’s Week. ASCE offers an easy way for every professional to make a profound difference at a local school. The success of last year’s movie, Dream Big: Engineering Our World, ASCE has made it possible to provide a copy of the full length DVD to all public schools in United States and Puerto Rico, but your help is needed! For just $5, ASCE will send a Dream Big toolkit to a school of your choice. The toolkit includes the Dream Big DVD, a teacher’s guide, companion videos, and downloadable files for classroom use. Five dollars is small price to pay to ensure that this award-winning film is viewed by dozens of students. Toolkits will begin distribution this Fall and more information can be found at the link here:

A screening of this movie is the perfect way to ignite discussion with students or to otherwise serve as a precursor to your traditional outreach tactics. With or without the toolkit, I encourage everyone to think about participating in student outreach throughout the year. Our presence today will have lasting impacts tomorrow, and will ensure that future generations share the same passion for our industry. I guarantee that our profession, and the future of engineering, will be better served with your involvement on this front. Thank you for reading!

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