Since the start of construction of the New NY Bridge in 2013, the project’s outreach team has partnered with local schools to engage nearly 40,000 students. The team’s presentations highlight the importance of science, technology, engineering and mathematics—collectively known as the STEM fields—to the design and construction of the twin-span bridge.
For educators, examples like the New NY Bridge project provide all-important context for abstract classroom concepts, such as Newton’s laws of motion and Archimedes’ principle of buoyancy. Understanding how such concepts are applied to solve real-world challenges not only increases a student’s comprehension, it also can inspire the next generation of engineers.
During their school appearances, engineers and other project experts meet with students to talk about their experiences and career paths. Recently, civil engineers John Kowalski and Robert Conway spoke to students at Mamaroneck High School’s STEM Career Day to discuss the fundamental relationship between education and their professional success.
With age-appropriate materials, elementary school students also are introduced to the project with illustrative presentations led by outreach coordinators Andy O’Rourke and Daniel Marcy.
Earlier this month, project control manager Troy Calkins joined the outreach team for one of its largest presentations to date: More than 700 students attended the session at Concord Road Elementary in Ardsley, including Calkins’ own children.
“Having two young children of my own, I understand the importance of being able to explain complicated engineering concepts in a simple and engaging way,” Calkins said. “Having the chance to speak in front of my 6- and 8-year-old was a priceless experience that I hope they’ll remember for years to come.”
Non-traditional students also are involved in the effort. The outreach team has briefed dozens of home school students and their parents and recently visited the Tarrytown campus of one of the country’s largest private college prep boarding schools, the Education First Academy, which is attended by nearly 800 international students.
Throughout the duration of the project, the project team will continue to engage young minds. If you are interested in learning more about the project’s educational outreach effort, please contact the outreach team at NewNYBridge.com/contact.