Our group attends several career fairs each year at local schools with the goal of introducing civil engineering to students who might not know what the career is or how to become an engineer. We also give presentations to individual classes about civil engineering as well as college and scholarship opportunities.
In 2016 we teamed up with the CAD class at the Academy for Career Education (ACE) High School and led a month-long, hands on bridge design class. The students learned about bridge design from local NDOT engineers and then designed, drafted, and built their own balsa wood bridge. They were required to do cost and material estimates as well as give a presentation on the design of their bridge. The project coincided with the construction of the Virginia Street Bridge, so the students were also given a tour of the new bridge during its construction. To conclude the project, the balsa wood bridges were loaded with weight until they failed. The students and teachers reacted very positively to the project overall. We would like to do projects like this with classes throughout Washoe County every year.
One of the goals of our group is to encourage the student members at UNR to stay active with ASCE after graduation. We attend several engineering events on campus to provide information about our group as well as host events aimed at “bridging the gap” between the students and professional members. Our annual Students vs. Professionals Kickball Game is always a popular event as well as our Bridging the Gap social. We will be hosting new events in 2017 that are going to be focused on providing “real world” advice to the students as well as helping them find jobs at local engineering firms.