In collaboration with the Salt Lake City Engineering Office, the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering is coordinating outreach efforts to inspire future engineers. The Salt Lake City Engineering Office recently purchased a DVD copy of Dream Big: Engineering our World for every elementary school in the Salt Lake City School District.
“It is a really exciting and expansive activity,” said Jennifer Weidhaas, Associated Professor for the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering. “Over the current academic year, we will visit 30 elementary schools and interact with more than 60 5th grade classes. Our hands-on demonstration is really fun for the students and ties in the Dream Big movie and the Utah Core Standards in earth science. Students and teachers really enjoy the visits.”
Having pre-watched the Dream Big video, the in class visit by the Salt Lake City engineers, faculty and students of the Department of Civil and Environmental focus on elementary students designing and building towers out of modeling clay and coffee stirring sticks. The students are challenged to build the tallest or largest volume building that can withstand a shake table earthquake test.
“One of the goals of the SLC Engineering Office in purchasing the movie was to expose elementary students to the possibilities in engineering. They are also looking to encourage minorities and females to consider pursuing opportunities in this exciting and rewarding career field,” noted Weidhaas.