US Army Corps of Engineers
Buffalo District

USACE Engineers Provide Valuable Insights to High School Students

Published April 25, 2016
Two U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Buffalo District engineers, with vastly different education and work backgrounds, teamed up to deliver valuable industry exposure to Niagara Falls High School science, technology, engineering, and mathematic (STEM) soon-to-be graduates, April 21.

Two U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Buffalo District engineers, with vastly different education and work backgrounds, teamed up to deliver valuable industry exposure to Niagara Falls High School science, technology, engineering, and mathematic (STEM) soon-to-be graduates, April 21.

Many high school students are facing the question, “What do I do after graduation, and what do I want to do for a living?”

Two U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Buffalo District engineers, with vastly different education and work backgrounds, teamed up to answer this question and deliver valuable industry exposure to Niagara Falls High School science, technology, engineering, and mathematic (STEM) soon-to-be graduates, April 21.

Project Manager Captain Kelly Polashenski’s military perspective and Project Manager Geoffrey Hintz’s industry perspective emphasized the importance of working hard in school, persevering, and following a plan of action.

Even if the plan is the wrong one, you can always learn, adapt, and formulate a new plan.

“Don’t rue what you’ve already done. Look forward to what you can do,” was Hintz’s message to the group.

CPT Polashenski outlined her experiences in Iraq that involved building schools, office buildings, and roadways. She also described her humanitarian mission to the Marshall Islands, located in the Pacific Ocean. Her presentation gave the students a glimpse into the unique and deeply rewarding work of a military engineer.

“Discussing STEM with school children is inspiring. They are our future and they have so much opportunity before them,” said CPT Polashenski.

Hintz appealed to the students from both an industry engineer perspective and from the perspective of a father putting his students through college. Hintz was able to deliver some helpful insights gleaned from having first-hand experience with guiding children through the college-selection process.

Following the presentation, Hintz and Polashenski discussed with teachers the importance of turning STEM student’s attention toward real-world and hand’s-on applications of this challenging yet rewarding field.

 

"Educators need help, they need the tools that will enlighten kids to what is available outside an academic environment. There is nothing more important that private industry and governmental agencies can be doing than to provide students with first hand insights to the diversity of career opportunities in STEM,” said Hintz.

 

The Corps of Engineers is committed to investing in America’s youth, and recognizes that STEM occupations are critical to the Nation’s continued economic competitiveness. Outreach volunteer efforts such as these ensure that students head off to college with a greater understanding and appreciation of what it takes to be a STEM practitioner.