Water Tower | La Porte City, IA

Students learn about STEM careers at Open House

Posted on 03/25/2016 11:32 AM

Dubuque youth participated in hand-on surveying and engineering activities at MSA's Open House Business After School event. It was sponsored by the Dubuque Area Chamber.
Dubuque youth participated in hand-on surveying and engineering activities at MSA's Open House Business After School event. It was sponsored by the Dubuque Area Chamber.

The next time some Dubuque students turn on their faucet for a drink of clean water, they may have a new appreciation for the engineering that made this convenience possible.

Sarah Fosbinder, PE, of MSA’s Dubuque office, covered the topic of “How Does a Water Tower Work?” at a recent Business After School event sponsored by the Dubuque Area Chamber. 

MSA opened its doors to nine 8th and 9th graders for a two-hour business open house. The youth engaged in real-life, work-based learning experiences and also gained knowledge about pursuing a career in civil engineering.

Engineers takes youth behind the scenes

“My message to the students was that many people probably take it for granted that when we turn on the faucet or flush the toilet, everything will just work the way it is supposed to– unless you’re in our industry,” Fosbinder said. “It was rewarding to show them what a civil engineer does behind the scenes to design the complex systems that provide for these conveniences.”

MSA’s Open House Business After School event opened with a discussion by some the firm’s personnel about what interested them in engineering. 

They also explained the diverse career options available in the civil engineering field. Then, the group of nine students and their parents participated in the following: Hands-on land surveying demonstration; CAD drafting/modeling design demonstration; and water tower experiment.

Job Opportunities

The session was rounded out with MSA’s engineers providing insight into the education and experiences necessary to become a professional engineer and the outlook for future job opportunities. 

The students were strongly encouraged to gain as much real world experience as possible through job shadowing, summer jobs, and internships.  

The Dubuque Chamber sponsored the three-day event to give students the opportunity to learn more about the high-demand job sectors of advanced manufacturing, engineering, health care, auto/diesel IT/Computer Science, hospitality and general business.

The Chamber’s new Business After School event is made possible through the partnership of several organizations that share common workforce goals and priorities. Dubuque Community School District (DCSD), East Central Intergovernmental Association (ECIA), Dubuque Area Labor Management (DALMC) and Northeast Iowa Community College (NICC) collaborated with the Chamber to create meaningful career connections for students and employers.

Our firm’s Dubuque office, newly relocated in the Port of Dubuque at 400 Ice Harbor Drive, is in the heart the City and is home base for 18 professionals and support staff.

Diverse project portfolio

MSA, with 14 offices throughout the Upper Midwest, provides a number of services for large and small cities and governmental agencies. 

Our portfolio ranges from complex wastewater treatment plants, potable water and tower construction, downtown and major street reconstruction projects to tennis court design, boat ramps construction and streambank protection projects.

MSA has experts within the company who have personal experience in nearly every facet of the broad fields of civil engineering and land surveying.

The following MSA personnel interacted with the students: Sarah Fosbinder, PE; Jake Huck, PE; John Krayer, PE; Nate Stevenson, EIT; Jayden Scheckel, EIT; Bob Schueler, senior engineering technician; and Steve Schmidt, PLS.

For more information, contact Sarah Fosbinder. 

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