Williston, N.D. - Since partnering with Interstate Engineering in 2011, WSC has helped nearly 100 local and regional high school and college students consider career paths in engineering with its Introduction to Engineering course.
Each year, Interstate Engineering contacts principals, counselors, and math and science instructors from local and regional high schools, to encourage their junior and senior students who may have an interest in engineering to participate in this course.
Guest speakers attend the weekly class to share their experiences in the engineering profession. Speakers often come from various locations across Montana, North Dakota, and Minnesota.
The course explores careers in a variety of engineering disciplines, including agricultural, chemical, civil, electrical, environmental, geotechnical, hydraulic, mechanical, municipal, petroleum, structural, surveying, and transportation.
The class began with four students in 2011 and peaked in 2015 with twenty-five. Regional high school students who are unable to come to WSC each Wednesday afternoon can attend via Interactive Video Network (IVN). IVN allows for two-way synchronous communication between students and instructors at different sites.
During the semester, student field trips to local companies are also built into the curriculum. Trips have included the Williston Wastewater Plant and Water Treatment Plant, Williams County Route 1 Bridge, University Commons Subdivision, and a drill rig site with Nabors Drilling. To conclude the semester, students give presentations on the engineering field that most interests them.
"The students' presentations help chart their educational and career path," notes Lonni Fleck, Vice-President of Interstate Engineering. "If students find an area of interest, we have accomplished the goal of the class. However, I call it a success even if a student chooses not to pursue engineering after taking this course. From a practical standpoint, this saves the student from discovering that engineering isn't the right occupation later in his or her college career and thus saving valuable time and resources."
For any information regarding WSC, please visit www.willistonstate.edu,
call 1.888.863.9455, or stop by 1410 University Avenue, Williston, ND.