Amber Holt, Steve Muren and John Wicks

SIUE School of Engineering faculty member Steve Muren (in the middle) explains a point to Amber Holt (17) of Edwardsville High School and John Wicks (16) of the SIUE East St. Louis Charter High School at the SIUE School of Engineering’s annual Engineering Camp for high school students.

The SIUE School of Engineering is hosting its annual Engineering Camp for high school students interested in learning more about engineering and the career options within that field. This summer, the camp held its first session June 9-14. The second session was held June 16-21.

Students at the camp are scheduled for various hands-on activities that introduce them to the fields within the engineering discipline. Activities during the camp encompass principles of mechanical, industrial, electrical and civil engineering, as well as construction management and computer science.

“We provide an overview of all the programs offered by the School of Engineering,” said Dr. Chris Gordon, associate dean of the School of Engineering, and coordinator of the engineering camp. “The campers get a feel for what these programs entail and the incredible range of rewarding opportunities available in these fields.”

In the course of the camp, students participate in several projects, including building fuel cell cars, rockets and robots. Before embarking on their own projects, they get to see demonstrations of projects built by SIUE engineering students to inspire their work.

This year, students from various parts of the nation as well as from the Metro East and St. Louis-area have participated in the camp. Gordon says the camp has reached a record number of 56 total students enrolled. Each year, the camp attracts students from Illinois and neighboring states, including Indiana, Tennessee, Kentucky and Missouri. This year’s camps also included applicants from as far away as Alaska and Idaho.

Sisters Casey Beard, 14, and Reese Beard, 12, travelled from Howser, Idaho, to attend the Engineering Camp. They are home-schooled students who attend the Idaho Virtual Academy, which is an online home schooling program. Despite their ages, they are at high school academic levels, and they both have come to the camp to explore their career and college options.

“I know I want to go into engineering,” Casey said, “but I don’t know if I want to be an electrical engineer or an industrial engineer. This program has the best survey of all the different fields of engineering.”

Chris Couch, 16, of O’Fallon (Ill.) Township High School came to the camp knowing he wanted to be an engineer but unsure of which field he wanted to focus on.

“I didn’t know what field of engineering I wanted to go into, but after coming here, I think I have a better idea,” Couch said. “The camp has done a good job of separating the fields and saying how they’re different and how they also can be related.”

Brent Ellis, 16, of Bloomfield (Ind.) Junior-Senior High School, finds the several fields of engineering each fascinating in different ways. He has also found that having knowledge in all of the fields can be helpful in starting a career.

“I have already found more fields that I’m interested in,” said Ellis. “I’ve learned that sometimes you can get one degree in engineering but then still go into a different field because the fields can overlap.”

Gordon believes that bringing together promising young students with varying engineering interests and showing them the diversity within the broader field has garnered enthusiasm among SIUE engineering faculty and students.

“Our campers bring incredible dynamism to the school,” Gordon said. “We get to work with them as they learn what they are most excited about and which direction they might want to go. It’s a great opportunity for us as faculty members to work with future engineers and learn about their ambitions and their approaches to the various challenges they experience during the week.”


Summer Job Fair 

St. Louis Community College Florissant Valley is partnering with the Community Action Agency of St. Louis County, Inc. (CAASTLC) to host a Summer Job Fair 11 a.m. -2 p.m., Thursday, July 25, in the Student Center Multipurpose Room on campus, 3400 Pershall Road.

CAASTLC provides low-income people with emergency and crisis intervention services.

“The job fair is open to students, alumni and the community,” said Michela Walsh, manager of career and employment services at Florissant Valley. “Employers will recruit for positions in customer service, retail, healthcare, technical, social service, hotels and call centers.”

Walsh says more than 30 employers are expected to participate and approximately 300-400 job seekers are anticipated.

“This job fair is a golden opportunity for those seeking gainful employment to network, pursue and obtain employment in a wide array of fields,” said James Ingram, employment specialist at CAASTLC.

Business attire is suggested and job seekers are asked to bring resumes.

CAASTLC holds job fairs quarterly. The program is funded by U.S. Department of Health and Human Services with support from the Missouri Department of Social Services’ Family Support Division.

For more information, contact Walsh at 314-513-4543.

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