As part of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, New York District's commitment in increasing awareness and inspiring students to pursue careers in Science, Technology, Engineering and Math, New York district volunteers interacted with students from the Thomas A. Edison Career and Technical Academy and from Dwyer High School in Elizabeth, New Jersey.
The March 14 event was sponsored by Future Cities Inc., and held on the Edison Academy campus. Corps participants included Lt. Col. John Knight, Deputy Commander, New York District; Amanda Switzer, Environmental Scientist, Operations Division; Hector Mosley, Public Affairs Specialist, Public Affairs Office; and Keegan O'Connell-Lilly of Programs and Project Management Division.
“Learning about Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics is a key component for our younger generation," said Knight. "Educating them on career opportunities in those subjects will better prepare them to be our next innovative problem solvers.”
Using projected briefings on several video flat screens in the school's auditorium-media room, Knight spoke with 40 students about STEM opportunities with the Corps. Knight discussed the role the Corps of Engineers has in the U.S. Army, and elaborated on the many projects the New York District is working on, such as the nearby deepening of the Arthur Kill Channel, Coastal Restoration and the District's commitment to addressing Science, Technology, and Math education and increasing the number of STEM professions.
Switzer spoke about the regulatory mission and ecosystem restoration in the region. She informed the group that when she was a 16 year old student how she enjoyed studying about the environment, and how in just four years she became a member of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.
"You all study a lot of cool stuff now, but keep in mind how soon your future is coming upon you. Even these early decisions you make about what you want to study will benefit your future-it all starts with a solid education,” said Switzer.
Mosley, a former Edison Academy pupil spoke about when he first joined the Corps. "There's always something new and inspiring to learn,” said Mosley. “One exciting thing about my career as a public affairs specialist with the Corps is that I get to work with many different aspects of the organization -- whether its engineering, construction, environmental, or emergency operations. My roles and responsibilities in public affairs involve conveying timely and accurate information daily to the news media and general public." Following his presentation, Mosley answered several questions about his career path as Keegan O'Connell-Lilly of Programs and Project Management Division captured the event using digital photography.
A corporate style working lunch was catered by the Culinary Arts Class where Corps participants sat at individual tables with students and faculty and interacted and spoke about leadership development, ethics, civic engagement, roles and the use of technology.
The event increased awareness in STEM education and drew a diverse group of students to become civil engineers and biologists, including a student who expressed interest in becoming an engineer Soldier.