TOLEDO, Ohio, February 20, 2023 – SSOE Group (www.ssoe.com), an internationally ranked architecture and engineering firm, will host 20 local students from Jefferson, Napoleon, and Swanton high schools on Tuesday, February 21st as part of Engineers Week. Focused on promoting entry into the engineering profession, Engineers Week takes place February 19 – 25, 2023 in locations across the country. Engineers Week serves to increase the understanding of and interest in engineering and technology careers. It also helps address the shortage of talent in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM) careers by increasing public dialogue about the need for engineers and other STEM professionals.
Visiting students will get firsthand experience from a team of engineers and technical experts when they spend part of their day at SSOE’s World Headquarters in Toledo, Ohio for the “Engineer for a Day” program. The program will be held from 12:30 p.m. to 3:30 p.m. Students will attend a luncheon at The University of Toledo College of Engineering before traveling to SSOE. While at SSOE, they will have the opportunity to participate in team-building activities, gain insight into different engineering disciplines, and learn what it takes to become an engineer—and potentially a future SSOE employee.
To begin, SSOE’s Chief Executive Officer (CEO), Vince DiPofi, PE will provide opening remarks. The program will then proceed with an activity, “Construct a Building Frame,” led by Kyle Blosser, EIT, Structural Engineering. Using household items, students will divide into groups and be given structural guidelines. When the groups complete their frames, each one will be tested to determine who constructed the most stable structure with a faux seismic test.
Next, John Colley, PE, Senior Electrical Engineer, will lead a demonstration on electrical engineering titled “Let’s Build a Motor,” which will expose students to the motor effect and electromagnetism. The day will conclude with an overview of Virtual Design and Construction (VDC), presented by Lauren Collier, Director, Project Technology; Mark LaBell, Senior VDC Technical Leader; and Josh Churchill, VDC Technical Leader. Students will then participate in a LEGO exercise, teaching them the value of VDC. The activity will simulate traditional building in a 2D model and then be repeated in a 3D model using Virtual Reality as a tool. This will allow the students to visualize the project more accurately, resulting in reduced errors and time savings.
During the event, students will also be introduced to SSOE’s Student Co-op / Internship Program. This program provides college students with resume-building experience, a competitive wage, and college credits. Over the past five years, SSOE has hired hundreds of students in our Student Co-op / Internship Program for full-time positions at our 19 offices.
In addition to SSOE’s Toledo activities around Engineers Week, the firm is also a Platinum Sponsor for Oregon Engineers Week in Portland. The event, which actually takes place the following week on February 28th, will bring together high school students and local professionals and include an exhibit hall, career fair, morning sessions with panel discussions, and field trips for student attendees.
SSOE: Investing in the Future of STEM
SSOE supports programs like “Engineer for a Day,” among others, as part of its commitment to generating interest in and preparing students for successful careers in STEM fields. Last year, SSOE further supported this commitment through a multi-year gift to the University of Toledo College of Engineering to empower a more diverse future. The gift primarily supports personnel and programming in the Office of Engineering Inclusive Excellence. That team, housed in the College of Engineering, helps ensure every student has access to the resources and tools needed for academic and career success. The contribution also includes funding for scholarships that will target high-performing students in groups that are traditionally underrepresented in engineering professions as well as classrooms.
Additionally, over the last decade, SSOE has sponsored numerous Imagination Station’s Girl Power events. This event is a STEAM career day for girls that gives young women in the community an opportunity to meet and learn from women in STEAM fields. It offers special activities prepared by STEAM professionals and the opportunity to explore the science center.