Monday, April 10, 2017

Garver Helps High School Students Develop STEM Skills

One teacher’s desire for his students to receive hands-on education, and Garver’s continued dedication to help usher more students into the engineering field has sparked a new program at a Kansas high school.
Engineers in Garver’s Overland Park, Kansas, and Kansas City, Missouri, offices have been working with students at Blue Valley Southwest High School this academic year to further advance their STEM education beyond what they would learn in a traditional curriculum. Mark Williams, Aviation Team Leader in Garver’s Overland Park office first spoke with Cody Parks’ A&E Design class, which sparked an even more involvement between the class and Garver. This school year, Garver has adopted the class while helping them advance in various fields.

“This program provides them with a unique experience to work hand-in-hand with Garver’s engineers, while receiving insights into possible futures in engineering,” Mark said. “We want to encourage as many young students as possible to further their interests in engineering fields.”

Blake Blakemore, Bridge Team Leader in the Kansas City office, was joined by engineers Rachel Henkhaus, Ruili He, and Derek Butler, in helping students prepare for the Kansas Society of Professional Engineers model bridge building competition. Students spent a month constructing their bridge prototypes, then tested them to failure while receiving feedback from Garver’s engineers.

Senior project manager Jennifer Russell then worked with the students to develop a re-engineered classroom space. Students considered the needs of others students in each class that used the room, the existing furniture, and the physical limitations of the room. Based on those elements, the students created a new room design using their CAD Skills to present the results. Parks and the school’s principal, acting as the clients, then decided on the best design to use for their new environment.

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