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2011 WISE Shadow Event Offers Local High School Students a First-Hand Look at Engineering at UNM

April 27, 2011

On Wednesday, April 27, 2011 Ball Aerospace and the UNM Women in Science and Engineering (WISE) Program hosted “Shadow a WISE Student Day,” during which students from Albuquerque High School (AHS) were invited to UNM for the day in order to experience the “college scene” by shadowing current UNM science, math and engineering students.

UNM’s Civil Engineering Department was featured during this year’s WISE shadow event. Visiting AHS students were given the opportunity to tour the CE Department and laboratories, attend classes, and interact with students and professors in order to learn more about UNM’s math, science, and engineering programs.

The event kicked off on Wednesday morning with introductory remarks from the CE Department’s Dr. John Stormont, Dr. Andrew Schuler, and Dr. Walter Gerstle. Dr. Stormont – CE Department Chair – provided students with an overview of civil engineering, discussing the broad scope of the field and emphasizing the growing importance of sustainable infrastructure. Dr. Andrew Schuler, Assistant Professor of Environmental Engineering, spoke to students about the role of environmental engineering within the discipline of CE. Although people do not always associate environmental issues with civil engineering, the ways in which we deal with waste, wastewater, pollution, and air quality are very much concerns for civil engineers. Dr. Walter Gerstle, Professor of Structural Engineering, concluded the introduction to CE by engaging students in a discussion about structural engineering, challenging them to think critically about how a building is designed and constructed. AHS students spent the rest of the day shadowing UNM WISE students, attending presentations and demonstrations in the CE Department laboratories, and learning what it means to be a UNM student. The event concluded in the Mechanical Engineering Atrium where representatives from all UNM engineering departments offered presentations and distributed curriculum material.