BRIDGES PROJECT DBE PROGRAM FOCUSES ON STUDENTS
H.W. Lochner, Inc., the Section Design Consultant for the Kentucky Approach to the East End Bridge, and DBE Coordinator EHI Consultants, Inc., worked together in Lexington, KY., to propose a concept and process for assisting 10th - 12th grade high school students interested in pursuing Kentucky Transportation Cabinet (KYTC) scholarships.
"We wanted to make an impact in our community by encouraging students who might not have considered attending college, much less becoming a civil engineer to learn about the possibilities and opportunities available to them," said Chuck Craycraft, Senior Vice President, H.W. Lochner, Inc.
Chuck Craycraft and Debby Taylor from Lochner and Ed Holmes and Elizabeth Trawick from EHI led the Kentucky East End design team's scholarship initiative. Through a wide variety of activities, the team established an outreach program for Fayette County high schools. As part of the Experience-Based Career Education Program, participating students "shadow" the engineers at Lochner. Students experience the day-to-day activities of a busy engineering firm over a six-week period. Lochner hosts three to four students during each school year through the Fayette County EBCE Program.
Lochner and EHI also provide civil engineering presentations to local high schools. These presentations incorporate information concerning the field of civil engineering, KYTC scholarship information, and hands-on activities like "Building Bridges," in which students construct bridges out of marshmallows and toothpicks and test weight capacity using items like pencils.
"The civil engineering presentations have been successful in promoting the KYTC Engineering Scholarship. Regional projects are introduced to students to relate civil engineering to core curricula with a focus on career opportunities" said Elizabeth Trawick, Environmental Planner at EHI.
Ed Holmes, president of EHI added, "Community Outreach is an important part of the teaming opportunities between the private and public sectors. This is the third year we've been afforded this opportunity."
In the spring of 2005, Natalia Hoskins, a student from Dunbar High School, participated as a Lochner shadowing student and applied for and received the KYTC Engineering Scholarship. She is currently a sophomore attending the University of Kentucky.
"I'm really glad I was in EBCE and could experience engineering through shadowing with Lochner, Hoskins said. "Learning about engineering encouraged me to apply for the scholarship. The experience also has helped me in school because I knew more what to expect."
In order to encourage more scholarship applicants, the Kentucky East End Approach team will host "Shadow an Engineer Day" at the Lexington Lochner office Feb. 26, 2008. Students are invited to tour the office and talk with the engineers. An engineering presentation will take place and students will receive assistance in filling out the KYTC Engineering Scholarship applications.
For more information, please contact EHI Consultants at 859.425.4881, or email Trawick@ehiconsultants.org.
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