Discover engineering at Innovating Our Future

Discover engineering at Innovating Our Future
Posted on 02/18/2019
El Paso Water Training Specialist Randy Gutierrez and her children took part in one of the activities measuring heart beats at a 2018 engineering event. The University of Texas at El Paso led one of the activity booths and will be participating this year.

Would your child or teen be interested in racing solar cars or exploring the inner workings of an electric vehicle or a 3D model of an innovative water facility?

El Paso Water encourages local families to discover the exciting world of engineering at a free, public event featuring area engineers who aim to stimulate young imaginations. To celebrate National Engineers Week, EPWater is partnering with El Paso Electric and other organizations to offer families fun-filled, hands-on activities. The Innovating Our Future event kicks off from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Feb. 23 at the TecH2O Learning Center.

Sparking imaginations

Manuel Perez, Energy Management Coordinator, led children in an activity at a 2018 El Paso Water engineering event.More than 80 percent of educational booths will be run by local engineering firms, said April Thoreson, Water Conservation Education Specialist. Demonstrations and hands-on activities will be based on the firms’ current or completed projects in El Paso. Some of the features include a 3D model of EPWater’s future Advanced Water Purification Facility by Carollo Engineers and a 3D, drive-thru model of TxDOT’s Montana Avenue road improvements by Dannenbaum Engineering.

“By relating various engineer projects throughout El Paso, we hope that we are able to make that connection between the community and the importance of inspiring our youth in science and engineering,” Thoreson said. “With the City of El Paso only growing, we hope to highlight and draw attention to the value of inspiring youth in our community in joining engineering career pathways.”

Providing inspiration

An engineer from CDM Smith leads children on a project at a 2018 El Paso Water engineering event.Twenty-one organizations, including the University of Texas at El Paso, the Texas Department of Transportation and the Fab Lab of El Paso, are collaborating with EPWater on the family engineering event. Utility engineers will participate in the festivities as well.

Eric Jacquez, Utility Engineer Associate, will offer participants an engineering design challenge at the event.

“Last year, I volunteered as a judge for a science fair at Bowie High School, and I noticed that a lot of students need inspiration to go to a university and be a professional,” Jacquez said. “I like to share my experience and motivate these students to finish college.”

It’s all about showing students how vital science, technology, engineering and math is, Thoreson said.

“These subject areas are essential and are the building blocks for a sustainable community,” she said. “It is through these future innovators that we as a community are able to remain resilient to an ever-changing environment.”

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