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Posted 7/16/2018

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By Ann Marie R. Harvie
USACE, New England District


The New England District coordinated with educational partners, Schools to Careers to cohost one of the three days of School To Careers’ Bioengineering Symposium.  Participation in the annual Symposium is part of the District’s Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) Program.

The New England District hosted 30 students who gave up a day of April vacation, April 18, to visit the District headquarters in Concord, Massachusetts. 

“The School to Careers Program supports member schools such as Holbrook, Avon, Dedham, Blue Hills Technical, and other typically disadvantaged schools located south and southwest of Boston,” said Mark Anderson, New England District’s STEM coordinator.  

Anderson did all the planning, coordination of the staffing of speakers for the event and David Heislein served as host.  According to Anderson, while visiting the District, students went to the theater to get an overview of the Corps of Engineers and the New England District missions, presented by Gary Morin.

 A panel discussion followed Morin’s presentation. Robert Leitch represented Program/Project management, Jim Conway and Michelle O’Donoghue represented Construction and Jason Paolino and Angela Frisino represented Engineering during the panel discussion.

 According to Anderson, this part of the event focused mainly on educational and career paths.  “In addition to these discussions, students were briefed on the Hanscom Dormitory and Primary School projects in advance of on-site tours of both ongoing projects,” said Anderson.

Accompanied by Heislein, the students proceeded to Hanscom Air Force Base to get project tours of the dormitory and primary school.  “We were at Hanscom for about one and a half hours split evenly between the dorm building under construction and the existing Middle School and Elementary School also under construction,” said Heislein.  “That allowed everyone to see the details of the before, during and after products and the extensive level of design detail and construction work that goes into the process.”

According to Heislein, the dorm tours were provided by District construction engineers.  The school tours were provided by the District construction engineer and the School Department construction manager.  Heislein accompanied the students on the tours so he would talk with the students and teachers along the way for additional interaction. 

“We’ve been trying to give the students a broad cross section of our work over the years,” said Anderson on the tour selection of the Hanscom projects.  “We have done environmental tours such as New Bedford and Civil Works tours such as Muddy River the last two years.”

After the site visits, students boarded the school bus and made their way home. 

The other two days of the Bioengineering Symposium was comprised of visits to the MWRA Deer Island Water Treatment Facility, the BROAD Institute and Biogen.