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District 8 Hosts Engineering Academies

With an assist from District 8, Diversity and Recruitment conducted engineering academies July 15 and 16 for 80 ninth- and 10th-grade Math Science Upward Bound students in East St. Louis. The academies were designed to spark the interest of high school students in pursuing civil engineering as a career.

Students got an overview of the functions of IDOT and learned about engineering careers and education requirements. As part of the presenta­tion, students heard from District 8 en­gineers who explained why they chose the career, sharing personal stories about their educational journeys. The students took advantage of this oppor­tunity to ask questions about transpor­tation and highway construction.

The academies included two hands-on exercises in small breakout groups. In one exercise, the students acted as engineers tasked with building a chair out of pipes. In the other, they were asked to build a bridge with Styrofoam cups and masking tape.

Students were also given word searches and word scrambles to familiarize them with the vocabulary of civil engineering.

The academies concluded with a learning circle, in which students were invited to share what they learned and offer comments about the experience.

The event was fun, informative and well received by both students and staff thanks to the efforts of Clarissa Williams and Aisha Price of Diversity and Recruitment, along with District 8 engineers Kirk Brown, Sharon Byrd, Porsha Key and J’Naye Lee.