US Army Corps of Engineers
Far East District U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Website

Tour opens students’ eyes to life as an engineer

Far East District
Published May 20, 2014
Aspen Stafford, seventh-grade student at Camp Casey elementary, looks through a microscope as Kim Kyon-ho, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Far East District environmental branch chemist, explains how to identify the cancer causing mineral asbestos. Stafford was part of a group of students who toured the district compound May 16 to help get a better appreciation of what life is like as an engineer.

Aspen Stafford, seventh-grade student at Camp Casey elementary, looks through a microscope as Kim Kyon-ho, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Far East District environmental branch chemist, explains how to identify the cancer causing mineral asbestos. Stafford was part of a group of students who toured the district compound May 16 to help get a better appreciation of what life is like as an engineer.

Seventh- and eighth-grade students from Camp Casey elementary school on U.S. Army Garrison Red Cloud toured the Far East District compound Friday, May 16, to see what a day in the life of an engineer is all about. District engineers gave students an overview in geotechnical, environmental and sustainability in engineering, as well as a tour of the materials testing laboratory and surveying technology.

“My favorite part was surveying. I really like programming and I like the thought of programming without being inside stuck to a computer,” said Collyn Lindley, eighth-grade student at Casey elementary school. “They showed us engineers also make maps. The gadgets they used were interesting and maps are kind of fun.”

The variety of jobs on the district compound gave the students a perspective on the many career paths future engineers can choose.

“Engineering, I thought, they just build stuff and tear stuff down,” said Aspen Stafford, seventh-grade student at Casey elementary.  “I learned that they do far more – civil engineering, technological engineering – they work a lot more with science than I thought.”

The field trip gave the students an opportunity to ask questions from real-life engineers and see how their classroom experience applies to jobs in the real world.

“Everyone always asks what I need algebra for?” said Valentina Ortega, Casey elementary school math teacher. “Why do I need to know these variables, polynomials and all these quadratic equations? Here they’re seeing why they need it in real life.” 

The day concluded with the Far East District commander, Col. Bryan S. Green, answering questions and providing depth to what his life is like as the commander of the district.

“I love this job because every day is different,” said Green. “We have it all in the [U.S. Army] Corps of Engineers Far East District: chemical labs, geotechnical labs, asbestos labs, GIS (geographical information systems) experts who make our maps and do the surveys. “It is one of the coolest things to wake up every morning and have a new challenge to go solve,” said Green.

 “It made me think a little deeper into what career path I’m going to choose,” said Lindley. “It definitely broadened my perspective.”

The presentation was part of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and the Department of Defense Schools Korea District education partnership agreement signed on March 7, 2013, at Seoul American High School. The partnership centers on support for the science, technology, engineering, and mathematics initiative.