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MSG Hosts Bedford High School - 'Engineer for a Day' Program

MSG Hosts Bedford High School - 'Engineer for a Day' Program

Photo: Engineer Nicholas Savage of MSG with Bedford students busy at work during one of their ‘Engineer for a Day’ activities.

Amid the celebrations that comprise National Engineers Week, Bedford High School students interested in an engineering career were invited to spend the day at The Mannik & Smith Group, Inc. (MSG) in Maumee, Ohio as part of the 'Engineer for a Day' program. The aim of the program is to educate the next generation — i.e., tomorrow's workforce — on the various disciplines that encompass the engineering fields.

MSG had the privilege of hosting 15 students and two chaperones from Bedford High School in Bedford Township, Michigan. The day began at the University of Toledo's College of Engineering, which offers a nationally accredited engineering program. University of Toledo alumni, Gregory Mack, PE and Travis Rhoades, PE, and Trine University alumnus, Nicholas Savage — engineers in the MSG transportation group — joined the students for pizza and conversation regarding the engineering profession.

The students were then transported to the MSG corporate headquarters for a tour and afternoon activities. MSG valued the opportunity and ability to show the students a multitude of potential pursuits, including civil, geotechnical, transportation and construction engineering. A hands-on activity involving the simulation of the corridor planning process was conducted that allowed the students to develop a new highway between the fictitious cities of Jaanstown and Smithburg. Students were evaluated on factors such as lowest overall construction cost and Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) compliance. MSG used the high profile US-24 'Fort to Port' project (from Fort Wayne, Indiana to Toledo, Ohio) as a direct analogy of where this process was used in the real world.

'Introduce a Girl to Engineering Day' is another very important aspect of Engineers Week. Rhoades, one of the engineers involved with the 'Engineer for a Day' program and this year's Young Engineer of the Year enthusiastically shared that nine out of the 15 students were young women. "This is very encouraging to the diversity of our profession. We noticed that the competition and creativity level were increased compared to previous years. I can't say for certain if the demographics had anything to do with it, but there was a marked difference," explained Rhoades, who has been involved with the 'Engineer for a Day' program for the past eight years.

Photo: The ‘(GL)² Inc.’ team presenting their new highway plan. From left, Lucas Haberkamp, Logan Simmons, Gloria Chun, and Helen Sheckler.