HUNTSVILLE, Ala. –Representatives from the U.S. Army Engineering and Support Center, Huntsville’s Engineering Directorate (ED) visited a local magnet school Oct. 23-27 to provide students with insight into the science, technology, engineering and mathematics career fields and the fields importance to filling the rank-and-file of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.
Chad House, Patrick Lane, Daniel Cook, and Bryan Merry from the ED’s Systems-Cost Division volunteered their time to speak to students at the Alabama School of Cyber Technology and Engineering (ASCTE), the nation’s only high school focused on the integration of cyber technology and engineering into all academic disciplines.
Located in Huntsville, ASCTE is a tuition-free, public, residential magnet high school serving students throughout the state of Alabama.
Deanne Boseck, ASCTE career coach instructor, invited Huntsville Center to speak to Field Experience 101 course. She explained that student attending the academy are broken into four specific courses with 101 being for freshmen to hear speakers talk about their careers, how they determined their career paths and to allow the students to gain insight into the organizations they represent.
Following Field Experience 101, sophomores in the 201 class are given tours within STEM industry. The juniors in the 301 course are provided mentorship from STEM professionals, and seniors in the 501 course are involved in STEM internships.
Chad House, Facilities & Systems Sustainment Branch chief, said he relishes any opportunity to speak and engage with today’s youth.
He said regardless of their goals and aspirations, the opportunity to share life lessons, failures, successes, and provides a great opportunity to aide in the student’s growth and development.
“As career civil servants, most of us feel very strongly about self-less service and the support we provide through mission execution,” House said.
“I believe that mission is not complete unless we have developed the next generation to carry the torch forward, improve it, and be there to continue to deliver that mission when faced with tomorrow’s challenges.”
Sharing career counsel to high school students is a great opportunity for professionals to possibly guide students toward a specific career direction, whether they know what they want to do after high school or not. However, ASCTE isn’t a typical high school.
Admission to ASCTE is application based with a competitive acceptance process and is ranked academically in the top 1% of U.S. high schools.
House said he believes it is important for U.S. Army Corps of Engineers personnel to share their experiences with those interested in STEM as the STEM fields are diverse and provide many varying opportunities.
“To be able to share our engineering journey to illustrate that these fields are more than sitting in front of a computer and punching a calculator, that they can provide an opportunity to see the world and have a meaningful impact on society is invaluable in further educating them on the STEM fields beyond the classroom in order to feed their passion and drive,” House said.
“Through this (outreach), today’s students become tomorrow’s interns, then our future leaders.”