Orange County Branch Newsletter

September 2015

K-12 Committee

K-12 Participates in State Leadership Conference

By: Isamar Escobar

On July 18th, ASCE’s K-12 Committee participated in the 4-H State Leadership Conference at the University of California, Irvine. This conference brings together high school youth from across California in a four-day leadership training, networking, and learning experience. The K-12 committee held a 2-hour session on the Engineering Design Process which included a presentation on Civil Engineering, and the Marshmallow Tower Activity.

The goal of our session was to demonstrate to the students that creativity, communication, teamwork, and innovation are all part of the engineering profession. We used the Engineering Design Process which consists of identifying the problem, brainstorming, designing, building, and sharing results, as the focal point of our presentation and activity. Once we explained the process we had the students compete in the Marshmallow Tower Activity. Students were broken up into groups of two and three and had twenty minutes to build the tallest spaghetti structure that could support a marshmallow. After the activity, we engaged the students in a few minutes of debriefing to discuss their results, challenges, and successes.

Many of the students who attended our session were interested in STEM related fields and it was quite extraordinary to witness how much they knew about engineering. This event was a great opportunity to be involved in exposing high school students to civil engineering and the various skills it offers that can be helpful in any field they may end up in.

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