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Hargrove Engineers + Constructors Hosts AT&T Vital Link Summer Camp

Jun 1, 2014

Hargrove Engineers + Constructors hosted a group of 12 eighth-graders from Clark-Shaw School of Math and Science as part of the AT&T Vital Link "Internship" Program. AT&T Vital Link is organized by the Mobile Area Education Foundation in order to help students connect what they are learning in the classroom with opportunities in the workplace. The students met with Hargrove's engineers, designers and project managers to learn about each of the engineering disciplines: chemical, electrical, structural, mechanical and construction management. They also received advice on the importance of going to a college or trade school after graduation. The students were greeted by Corporate Safety Leader Dale Strickland and started each activity with a safety moment, per Hargrove procedure. The four-day internship introduced the field of engineering and design to the students, providing them with an insight into each discipline represented at Hargrove. By engaging these students with hands-on activities, like navigating through 3D modeling software and designing a project from front-end estimating through construction, we hope to instill a desire to learn more about engineering and show students that what they learn in the classroom today can shape their future career, said Amy Driskell, Hargrove's Vital Link coordinator. Activities: Egg Drop Project - Students designed and built a vehicle to safely transport an egg from the top of a two-story building to the ground. This project stressed the importance of planning, budgeting and innovation in designs. Jim Uptigrove, vice president of engineering, played the role of the client and reviewed the students design ideas and drawings before signing a purchase order. They were given a $250,000 budget with materials ranging from $3,000 cotton balls to $45,000 ziplock bags. For the first time, a student's egg drop design survived a three-story drop. Structural Engineering - Tim Hogue, PhD, senior structural engineer, gave a hands on presentation on the strength of materials; kinds of dirt, steel, concrete; investigative engineering; the importance of supports, domes, arches; and the elements that engineers have to consider when designing for various structures. Electrical Engineering - Stacy Fain and Patrick Gay showed students an elementary drawing and a complex drawing of a motor for a major refinery. The students then recreated the drawing to scale on the Hargrove basement floor in chalk, explaining what each of the symbols meant. Chemical Engineering - Linda Page, chemical engineer, demonstrated kitchen chemistry and had the students test density of different liquids, create slime and (using purple cabbage juice as litmus paper) test the pH of household chemicals. 3D Modeling - Jason Steadman made the students laugh as they raced through a 3D model in Navisworks. Each child controlled the mouse on an avatar in an actual engineering model as they  walked through a chemical plant. Mechanical Engineering - Chip Baugh described the aspects of mechanical engineering and walked the students through how toilet paper is made in a pulp and paper mill. He also discussed what to expect in the College of Engineering and showed them a Solidworks model of a baja car he helped design and build in college.

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