UW, Professional Engineers Brought Hands-On Program into Local Elementary Classrooms

Engineers Week, a partnership between the University of Wyoming, and the Wyoming Board of Professional Engineers and Professional Land Surveyors, recently had a record number of engineers bring hands-on projects into several Wyoming third-grade classrooms.

This year’s program saw an increase of more than 300 participants compared to last year, with 130 engineers and 3,636 students representing 198 third-grade classrooms across Wyoming.

The program, held in late February, benefited from the support of Union Wireless.

“This year’s Engineers Week program would not be possible without generous support from Union Wireless,” says Teddi Freedman, K-14 project coordinator for the College of Engineering and Applied Science at UW. “This program continues to have a positive impact on our youth, teachers and working professionals. We are grateful for the opportunity to collaborate and to inspire the next generation of engineers.”

Engineers Week brings professional- and college-level engineers into third-grade classrooms around the state to lead a one-hour hands-on activity. The activities strive to inspire the next generation of engineers through direct discovery and aim to build a stronger sense of community among school children, teachers and professionals working in the field of engineering.

“Our engineers were awesome, and the kids really had fun,” says one third-grade teacher. “We had to stop them after an hour and 20 minutes, and they wanted to keep going. It is definitely a big hit and, as one kid said, ‘Learning sure was fun today!’”

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Local elementary schools that participated in Engineers Week activities included: Arapahoe, Dubois, Ethete, Lander, Shoshoni, and Thermopolis.

Union Wireless, founded in 1914 in Mountain View, has supported numerous UW events this year, including Engineers Week.

“As a Wyoming company, we’ve made a commitment to support educational programs across the state wherever possible,” says Brian Woody, Union Wireless chief customer relations officer. “Working together with the University of Wyoming, we’re able to support academic programs to foster the workforce in the field of engineering.”

Since 2007, Union Wireless has provided significant support in a variety of areas, including the College of Engineering and Applied Science, the UW Art Museum and the College of Business.

In an effort to align its philanthropic support of UW with the impact Union Wireless hopes to have on the state, the theme “Supporting Today’s and Fostering Tomorrow’s Workforce” was created, Woody says. The theme is central in supporting academic scholarships and internships in UW’s College of Business, and College of Engineering and Applied Science; Impact Day; Engineers Week; the Engineering Summer Program; and the Summer High School Institute; and the state Future Business Leaders of America conference.

“A number of our engineers and other employees are UW graduates,” Woody says. “We look forward to continuing that tradition.”

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