By Sabrina Rivera
A warm February morning was suddenly brought to life as a stream of 4th graders got off their bus in front of City Hall. Excited voices echoed down the hallways of Los Angeles City Hall as ASCE LA’s annual Engineers Week kicked off with the Elementary Egg Drop Egg-stravaganza. About 175 students from four local elementary schools participated in the first day of activities which included a presentation to Los Angeles City Council, a tour of City Hall, hands-on activities, and of course the egg drop.
For the third consecutive year, the City of Los Angeles proclaimed the last week of February, the 22nd to 27th this year, as Engineers Week. ASCE representatives received a copy of the proclamation along with the City Engineer, and Councilmember Gilbert Cedillo. E-week is a chance to recognize engineers from all disciplines who build and maintain the backbone of our cities and take technology to new places; ASCE LA YMF helped to bring this goal to life for 600 students within our local community this year.
Wednesday invited middle schoolers to LA City Hall where they had an opportunity to learn more about the drought and what the future of space exploration holds. Students created and tested a water filter with the Metropolitan Water District of Southern California, while the Jet Propulsion Laboratory brought out one of their model Mars Rovers. The students went wild when they allowed the JPL robot to “run-over” them. The three finalists of the essay competition on California’s drought were presented to the City’s Board of Public Works. After listening to the presentation and reviewing each report, the Board selected and announced the essay and scholarship winner that afternoon.
Women’s Day was held on Thursday and brought about 100 high school women to the Los Angeles Zoo. The day began with a walking tour of the facility, led by a female project manager from the City of LA, which covered recent innovations made to habitat facilities for the animals at the Zoo. Presentations and activities on the drought and space exploration were again hosted by MWDSC and JPL.
The final event of the week, High School Day, was hosted on Friday where almost 200 students filled the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power Auditorium early in the morning. The first speakers covered technical and leadership topics before students competed in building paper boats that sailed the pond at the front of the DWP building. The winning team used all of the weights prepared for the competition! To end the day, students returned indoors for closing remarks, the presentation of scholarship checks to the first and second place essay winners, lunch, and an engineering fair.
ASCE LA YMF, in partnership with Councilmember Gilbert Cedillo, hosted an Engineers Week to remember for many students within in the City of Los Angeles. An evening technical discussion was held for professional members and college students with experts from local agencies and the State Water Resources Control Board on the current drought in California. A Closing Reception for all participating individuals was also held that provided a chance for everyone to wind down, enjoy the company of their fellow volunteers, and set their sights higher for 2017. We would like to thank all of our volunteers and sponsors, without who this celebration of engineering would not have been possible.