For most New York City high school students, General Election Day is a day off and a time to take part in other activities. One group of 60 students from various schools in Manhattan used their time wisely on November 7th to learn more about careers in engineering and the sciences and attended the ‘Sixth Annual STEM Matters NYC Career Day’ offered at the New York District.
Students took part in a series of interactive presentations and were introduced to science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) careers from a variety of Army Corps professionals. Col. Thomas D. Asbery, the Army Corps’ New York District Commander, addressed students in both morning and afternoon workshops, and discussed his background.
Asbery elaborated about the many potential opportunities available in the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and in engineering and the sciences. Dressed in his Army service uniform, Asbery shared his military experiences, and noted, “We [the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers] solve the country’s greatest engineering challenges,” adding, “It’s about opening up your creativity.”
“It’s valuable for New York City students to have an opportunity to learn about the different types of professions that exist,” said Laura Winter, STEM coordinator for New York City Public Schools, adding, “The students definitely benefited from hearing Col. Asbery share his impressive experience.”
New York District presenters included: Capt. Benjamin Bruder, deputy area engineer, U.S. Military Academy at West Point, N.Y., who spoke about his role as a military engineer; Mukesh Kumar, chief, Cost Accounting Branch, Engineering Division, who discussed the importance of cost engineering; Karen Baumert, a program and project planner, who spoke about environmental restoration; Maj. Andrew Freinberg, a technical manager in the Engineering Management Branch, Engineering Division, who informed students about various STEM careers in the military; and Jenae Pennie, a structural engineer, who spoke about several aspects of her work.
Jean Lau, chief of the District’s Equal Employment Opportunity Office, along with her workforce, arranged a comprehensive day of learning. “This year’s program has been a huge success as students learned about a variety of potential career paths,” said Lau, adding, “It was productive use of their time outside the school environment.”
Capt. A. Edward Major III, deputy area engineer, U.S. Military Academy, West Point, N.Y., and Anthony Romano, chief, Human Resources, Civilian Personnel Advisory Center, also addressed students. Enikardie Metellus and Ricardo Zaldana of the Equal Employment Opportunity Office helped coordinate the program. On this day, as an extra, students received a T-shirt inscribed with the phrase “Sixth Annual Career Day: Connecting You to Your Future.”
Several events are planned for 2018. Beyond what happens in any one program, introducing more young people to STEM and the sciences is the larger goal, and represents one facet of the New York District's diverse programs.
The New York District partners with schools in New York City and New Jersey — along with other academic institutions — to introduce and promote career paths in science, engineering, technology, and Mathematics. With events off site and at District headquarters, workshops provide opportunities for students to directly interface with professionals in science and engineering.