Mobile, AL - Hargrove Engineers + Constructors hosted a group of 11 eighth-graders from Clark-Shaw School of Math and Science as part of the AT&T Vital Link “Internship” Program. AT&T Vital Link is organized by the Mobile Area Education Foundation in order to help students connect what they are learning in the classroom with opportunities in the workplace.
The students met with Hargrove’s engineers, designers, and project managers to learn about each of the engineering disciplines (chemical, electrical, structural, mechanical, and construction management). They also received advice on the importance of going to a college or trade school after graduation. Steve McClure, PE, Project Director at Hargrove told the students, “There will be a shortage of engineers and project leadership in the near future and the construction industry doesn’t look like it will slow down. Going into the engineering field would be a great opportunity for each of you to not only get a job out of college, but develop a rewarding career where every day is a chance to build something different.”
“By engaging these students with hands-on activities, like navigating through 3D modeling software and designing a project from front-end estimating through construction, we hope to instill a desire to learn more about engineering and show students that what they learn in the classroom today can shape their future career,” said Amy Driskell, Hargrove’s Vital Link coordinator.
The four-day internship introduced the field of engineering and design to the students, providing them with an insight into each discipline represented at Hargrove. Most of the students agreed their favorite activity was the “egg drop,” where students designed and built a vehicle to safely transport an egg from the top of a two-story building to the ground. This project stressed the importance of planning and budgeting, two key aspects in the engineering field.
AT&T Vital Link is based on the theory that students are best motivated to learn if they understand the connection between skills learned in the class and those needed for success in the workplace. A select group of students and teachers spend one-half day for a week as interns in Mobile businesses to experience the importance of communication skills, mathematics, creativity, problem solving and teamwork.