Field trip teaches youngsters about engineering

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Hoping to educate students on future career paths, leaders at MWH Global in Broomfield spent the morning of Sept. 6 with over 50 third-graders from STEM Magnet Lab School teaching them about opportunities available in the engineering field.

MWH Global specializes in water and wastewater treatment, environmental engineering, sustainable construction and construction management. This is the second time, MWH engineers teamed up with students to teach them about the world of engineering through a career session and engineering-based activities.

Meg VanderLaan, vice president of communications for MWH, said MWH Global recognizes the importance of instilling enthusiasm into the next generation of engineers and a great way to do that is with field trips to MWH. She said according to the National Academy of Engineering, most people don’t know what engineers do and don’t realize that engineering is at the heart of so many things in life, like entertainment, transportation and much more.

“We want kids to see engineering as a viable opportunity for their future,” VanderLaan said. “And these types of events allows us to give those kids a glimpse into the engineering world, which is important to us.”

Before the field trip to MWH Global, students at Northglenn-based STEM Magnet Lab School have been focused on careers. Third grade teacher Jamie Olson said part of the curriculum is the introduction to the book Someday, about a little girl who finds new things to do in her life. The students use the book as a resource in learning about how and what it takes to reach a career, she added.

“By coming to MWH, students learned that if they want to someday be an engineer one way of reaching that goal is to visit an engineering company and learn what people do here,” Olson said. “This field trip jump starts their paragraph writing about careers is a great example of an engineering career.”

Whether or not the students left with the drive to become an engineer, VanderLaan said she hopes students did leave with the feeling that one day they can make a difference in the world.

“We are just trying to help foster those ideas in children that, yes they can make a better world,” she said.