Orange County Branch Newsletter
Josue Vaglienty, P.E.
By Josue Vaglienty, PE
The “Dream Big” feature film is finally out at IMAX theatres across the country! After years of compiling footage and editing the content, the film sponsored by ASCE and Bechtel, made its debut to the public on Friday, Feb 17th. But the event was not intended to be a single showcase event. Nor was it just for Engineer’s Week. The intent of the film is to engage a whole generation of young students by capturing their imagination and to inspiring them to become engineers…hopefully civil engineers! I have come across snippets and anecdotes across Social Media from various ASCE members that mention that it’s more of a movement or social experiment. I, for one, am a believer. The future of our country’s infrastructure (both existing and future) will land firmly in their hands. Our job as engineers of today is to serve as a catalyst to help them along the way – on their way to becoming the E-Generation!
ASCE OC is fully committed to activities for the E-Generation to take part in. Recently, the ASCE OC K-12 Outreach Committee, led by Isamar Escobar and Jenny Mital, held a series of school visits and events to promote civil engineering across several cities in Orange County, including the following:
- Jan 26th – Santiago School Science and Engineering Fair – City of Santa Ana
- Feb 3rd – Woodsboro Elementary “Ask a Scientist/Engineer” Program – City of Anaheim
- Feb 13th - McPherson Magnet School Annual Science Fair – City of Orange
- Mar 10th – Thorman Elementary Classroom Visit – City of Tustin (ß not too late to register!)
In addition, ASCE OC and ASCE LA YMF held their annual Popsicle Stick Bridge Competition this past Saturday, Feb 25th at the Anaheim Regional Transportation Intermodal Center (ARTIC). In its 23rd year, this full day event hosted teams of high school students from LA and Orange Counties to battle it out for the titles of the strongest and most efficient popsicle stick bridge. This year’s strongest bridge held a whopping 949 lbs! The competition also allowed students to practice their time management and public speaking abilities by having to present their design to judges. Students also participated in an impromptu design challenge to test their ability to think and brainstorm in a fast-paced setting. As with all other K-12 Outreach activities, the intent is to provide these kids the opportunity to see a small glimpse of the engineering profession.
ASCE OC is always looking for opportunities to reach out to young students in our community – whether it’s presenting to a new school or teaming up with an organization on a joint activity to promote STEM. ASCE sees this as an investment in our future and one that it takes seriously. Dream Big will form a large part of that investment in the coming months and years. The film’s success should not be measured by its box office revenue. It should not be measured by how many students, teachers, and parents watch the film. Instead, its success should be measured 20 years from now, when we will see a wave of truly talented engineers (all part of the E-Generation) entering the workforce both here in the U.S. and abroad who were all touched by this film. I know Dream Big has the power and reach to do just that.