UC, ASCE encourage children to ‘Dream Big’ at campus visit promoting careers in civil engineering

The University of Cincinnati on Friday, May 11, introduced 500 students from Cincinnati and Milford public schools to careers in civil engineering as part of a showcase themed “Dream Big.”

Students in grades 3 to 7 spent the day with UC’s College of Engineering and Applied Science learning more about the STEM fields (science, technology, engineering and math) in a program sponsored by the American Society of Civil Engineers, or ASCE.

Students worked in teams to solve civil engineering problems such as how to build the best bridge or construct a building to withstand an earthquake.

UC also will show the IMAX movie “Dream Big,” a short film produced by ASCE that illustrates how engineering saves lives and opens the world to possibilities.

The movie is playing at schools and museums around the country.

“We want young students to know that engineers help people,” UC civil engineering professor Steven Buchberger said. “It’s a fantastic way to have a very satisfying career. One person really can make a big difference.”

“The Cincinnati Section of ASCE is excited to work with the UC Student Chapter of ASCE to host this great event! We are hoping to inspire future engineers with this amazing film and engaging hands on activities with professional and student volunteers,” said Julie Cromwell, Educational Outreach Committee Chair for the Cincinnati Section of ASCE.

“This project provides inspiration to fuel our students’ aspirations as they collaborate with their peers and STEM experts,” said Michelle Hughes Linnere, curriculum manager for science, health and physical education at Cincinnati Public Schools.

“We are building the STEM pipeline collaboratively with UC and helping our students set their sights on success as they ‘Dream Big,’” she said.

The United States will need to fill as many as 1 million new STEM jobs over the next decade, according to a presidential advisory council on science and technology.

Education experts such as the National Academies are pushing for stronger STEM programs in public grade schools. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts an especially strong demand for engineers at public agencies.

“We take great pride in the STEM opportunities and experiences we offer Milford students,” Milford Superintendent of Schools Nancy House said. “I am grateful to the University of Cincinnati for providing this amazing program for our students to gain valuable insights and hands-on experiences of STEM careers.”