Some of the D.L. Howell team recently visited a few Coatesville middle schools to present to students in the Chester County Futures’ (CCF) “Futures AHEAD” program. Futures AHEAD is CCF’s middle school program that provides assistance and enrichment to students coming from low-income homes. We had the opportunity to show the students a little about what we do. We presented to them about our careers in civil engineering in a way they could understand and tried to relate our work to topics they are learning in school now. The kids had the opportunity to see a drone, and one of our drone experts, Dave Gibbons, gave a brief presentation of how they work and what we use them for in our line of work. Unfortunately, we were too close to the Chester County G.O. Carlson Airport and the invisible fence prevented us from doing a flight demonstration, but the kids still enjoyed seeing a drone up close! After the presentations, we had a little friendly competition with the students. The goal was to build the tallest tower that could hold the weight of one marshmallow using only uncooked spaghetti, string, and tape. It’s surprisingly more complicated than you might think! We had a good time teaching the kids about engineering and building our spaghetti towers with them. But more importantly, the students learned about our careers and how what they are doing in school now can help them become an engineer.

Chester County Futures is a great program that provides support to low-income middle and high school students, helps prepare students for college, and offers scholarships for post-secondary school. The program was founded in 1996 and has since helped over 850 students. You can learn more about the organization at ccfutures.org.