Michael Baker International Chicago Teaches Importance of STEM Education

April 05, 2016

Several members of the Michael Baker Chicago office spoke to a group of local middle school students about engineering and STEM-related careers

Mark Hoskins (department manager, surface water) speaks to 7th and 8th grade students about hydraulic engineering
Four Michael Baker International employees from the Chicago office recently did their part to make Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) education an integral part of the curriculum for young students in Illinois. On March 23, Isaac Yun (Department Manager, Transportation), Mark Hoskins (Department Manager, Surface Water), Dennis Morgan (Bridge Engineer) and Joe Kauzlarich (Bridge Engineer) presented to a group of 7th and 8th grade students at Burr Ridge Middle School about engineering and careers in STEM.
“It was a very rewarding experience to talk to these students about how civil engineering impacts a world they already know – roads, bridges, buildings, running water, etc.,” said Kauzlarich. “These kids are at an important age right now, as they are getting ready to go to high school and have more say in the classes they take, which will have an impact on their future. We received thank you cards from the kids, and a handful of them said they want to be engineers now.”

Dennis Morgan (bridge engineer) and Joe Kauzlarich (bridge engineer) present structural engineering to a room of middle school students
Students were divided into groups to hear three different presentations about the role of engineering and the work Michael Baker does in the community. Yun spoke about traffic and highway engineering, Hoskins presented hydraulic engineering, and Morgan and Kauzlarich taught students about structural engineering. Each session included valuable information and a demonstration, and students were eager to interact and ask questions about the topics.
  “This work is truly making a difference in our community and our industry,” said John O’Neill, Vice President and Office Executive at Michael Baker’s Chicago office. “The kids at Burr Ridge Middle School are primarily minority students and may not have the same opportunities as those in other Chicago area schools. Educating them about STEM shows them how a career in engineering is within their grasp.”
Isaac Yun (department manager, transportation) talks to students at Burr Ridge Middle School about traffic and highway engineering