On Friday, July 26, 2019 IEEE TryEngineering Summer Institute South location at Texas A&M University hosted over 300 students from around the world. At the TryEngineering Summer Institute (TESI) program, 8th – 12th grade school students explored various engineering fields, such as Electronics, Electrical, Civil, Mechanical, and Aerospace. The TESI program also facilitated an opportunity for students to meet working engineers and experience VIP tours of engineering companies and centers. These activities include an a behind-the-scenes tour at the NASA Johnson Space Center, a tour of the physical plant that supplies power to the City of College Station, bowling on State-of-the-art bowling lanes for fun, and much more. The students get experience dorm life and local attractions at College Station during the two-weeks per session.
The highlight of the program had to be the panel sessions with today’s STEM professionals. IEEE R5 Director Bob Shapiro, is a Land Mobile Radio Consultant with RCS Wireless Consulting; Ft.Worth Section member Derrick Webster, is an Electricity Delivery Associate at Oncor Energy; Lamar University Student Branch member James Epkins, IEEE Student Branch Young Professional; Houston Section member Sean White EIT, is an Assistant Instrument & Controls Engineer at Burns & McDonnell; and Houston Section member Moriah Hargove Anders, is a Patent Agent at Fletcher Yoder Law Firm; and the panel discussion was co-facilitated by R5 South Area Chair Christopher Sanderson, Account Manager with HV Sales Company, Inc.
During this time the panelists spoke on their individual experiences as students and now professionals in their engineering fields. Questions from the TESI students ranged from why did you choose your STEM field in Engineering? To what were some of the obstacles you experienced?
The panel shared a variety of experiences on why they chose engineering as a profession, why they chose their college? To how much they enjoy their profession? They were truthful and passionate with their experiences. You could see that these panelists wanted to share with these students not just choose STEM as a profession but to make the right choices in their personal lives along the way. There was a fountain of advice given about classes, study habits, workplace culture, and placing the right people around you. As you can imagine these were interesting and engaging questions. It was a great opportunity for these young future professionals to see how broad the field STEM is and how STEM majors come from all different walks of life and the diverse opportunities available. The TESI program give the opportunity to show how engineering can make a difference in the way our world can work better together. Students are able to get a taste of engineering before college, alongside their peers from other schools from around the world. It is also a great chance for educators to learn how to tailor their lesson plans to increase their student’s interest in engineering and technology careers.
For some of the panelist we had an opportunity to relive our campus cafeteria experiences. Some things don’t change especially when it comes to menu selection. We have to look at including Texas A&M Universities BBQ science class into the program next year. For me it will be a commitment for next year’s class and panelist to enjoy some real good Texas BBQ. I will be looking to my fellow IEEE colleagues for help.
Dawna Schultz, the Senior STEM Outreach Education Manager, and her team did an excellent job in facilitating the TESI South program. I’m often reminded by a quote… “Volunteers do not necessarily have the time; they just have the heart.” by Elizabeth Andrew
Article by James Epkins, Lamar University Student Branch Young Professional and contributing volunteer to Houston Section Newsletter team.
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