ASCE Philadelphia YMF Members,
While it’s a new calendar year, we’re about half way through the Philadelphia YMF year, which means I only have about six months left to serve as your President. I’m sure a lot of you have made New Year resolutions, and I’m hoping some of you can add one more to your list that would help me achieve one of my goals: outreach. One of my goals is to increase the number of volunteers of ASCE’s Civil Engineering Club™ and the YMF’s K-12 outreach initiatives so that both will continue to run smoothly.
I recently attended the Civil Engineering Club’s Fall Ceremony at the Chester A. Arthur School in South Philadelphia and had the opportunity to interact with this year’s students and parents and it was apparent that the Club was making a positive impact on the students. It was truly amazing to see how engaged the students and parents were during the design competition and how their attention was captured by the preview of the Dream Big film. Along with the YMF’s CivE Club Chairs, Kevin Walsh and Tim Abel, volunteers from the YMF membership are the ones who have the direct impact on these students. If you’re interested in participating, please reach out to Kevin Walsh or Tim Abel.
Last year Katrina Lawrence and Charles Mumford, the YMF’s K-12 Outreach Chairs, organized outreach visits and events that resulted in over 1300 students being reached by industry and collegiate volunteers. In my opinion, true industry diversity starts with K-12 outreach; we can plant the civil engineering and STEM seeds within the minds of today’s youth enrolled in schools in and around the city and some will grow into technical-minded individuals who potentially enter our industry as qualified engineers. With the bar set extremely high from last year, we are counting on you to volunteer and to spread the word about opportunities to volunteer with us, so please reach out to us if you or someone you know is interested.
Speaking of the New Year, please don’t forget to renew your ASCE membership and if you weren’t already a member, make 2017 your year to become one by joining today! Finally, don’t forget about the YMF’s Annual Winter Social which will be taking place on Monday, January 30, 2017. I appreciate everything you have done thus far and I look forward to your continued involvement with the YMF as we move into 2017.
Thank you and Happy New Year,
Kevin Brown, EIT
ASCE Philadelphia YMF Members,
I recently volunteered my time at Chester A. Arthur Middle School’s afterschool CivE Club. The students were bright and attentive to my introduction to traffic engineering. The students participated in an interactive activity which related back to Traffic Engineering. It was a great opportunity to interact with eager young minds that may (hopefully) become future Civil Engineers and leaders. Also, it was eye-opening to see new methods of teaching and learning for STEM students. The time commitment and preparation was minimal, and I highly recommend YMF Members participate in the CivE Club!
Justin DiBiasi, PE, PTOE
Many would agree the most visible contribution of the YMF to the engineering community is its abundance of opportunities for career development, be it networking events, technical presentations, or touring active construction sites in the greater Philadelphia area. But beyond the multi-million dollar projects and happy hours, YMF offers an experience equal in value and personal growth through various public outreach programs; I myself had the good fortune to volunteer for the ASCE CivE Club at Chester A. Arthur Middle School.
The CivE Club meets about once a week over the course of one full school year. The students work with volunteer engineers to complete activities corresponding to each week’s topic, which cover various fields of civil engineering such as transportation, water resources, and structural engineering. As someone who only had a vague idea of what civil engineering entailed even as a freshman in college, I am confident the CivE Club conveys a level of understanding that will equip the students with valuable knowledge. Volunteering for the CivE club has also been a humbling experience for myself; I’ve re-discovered core concepts of civil engineering and remembered why the work we do is so important.
Getting to teach and help the students learn the concepts built into each lesson plan and activity has refreshed a sense of pride in both my own work and the efforts continually put forth by the YMF. The CivE Club and other YMF public outreach programs are the polish that allow this framework of engineers to shine.