It has been an active 10 days for the Little Rock District’s Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics education program. The district and project offices participated in six events throughout Arkansas March 6-15.
The Beaver Project Office hosted students from the University of Arkansas and gave them a first-hand look at the hydro power plant. Little Rock District’s Office of Counsel participated in the LISA Academy North career fair program, and district engineers were part of the first-ever Lonoke High School Career Day.
The Greers Ferry Project Office hosted a career day for science classes from Calico Rock High School and the Greers Ferry project manager took part in the Heber Springs Career Fair sponsored by Arkansas State University.
A group of Mountain Home High School students toured the Mountain Home Project Office’s Norfork hydro power plant as part of the school’s annual mentorship field day.
“Mountain Home Project has been working with local students in our area for over 10 years,” said Ben Bremer, supervisory civil engineering technician. “I have personally seen and experienced the positive benefits gained by our agency’s partnering with schools and students.”
Little Rock District’s STEM outreach efforts in the past 10 days reached nearly 600 students.
“We have a great group of people throughout the project and district offices that are encouraging kids and young adults to consider technical careers,” said Chief of the Navigation and Maintenance Section James McKinnie, district STEM coordinator. “They are mentoring students in developing robots, making presentations and judging competitions, and a lot of it on a volunteer basis. I am impressed and grateful for their efforts, and I think they are making a positive impact on the next generation's future, and our country.”
The Army Corps of Engineers is the largest civil engineering organization in the world and it recognizes the critical role STEM education plays in enabling the United States to remain the economic and technological leaders of the global marketplace, and enabling the Department of Defense and Army in the security of our Nation.
The Corps is committed to teaming with others to strengthen STEM-related programs that inspire current and future generations of young people to pursue careers in STEM fields.
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, more than half of the 30 fastest-growing occupations through 2018 are STEM-related. Environmental engineers are leading the way at an expected 31 percent job growth.
The Corps’ top leader is passionate about the importance of STEM education.
“Out of 100 ninth-graders, only six will go on to pursue STEM,” said U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Commanding General Lt. Gen. Thomas P. Bostick during a STEM event in Los Angeles. “That’s our challenge. By the year 2020, we will need a million more engineers, so we have to start early.”