The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Los Angeles District hosted nearly 90 students from Birmingham, Van Nuys and John Burroughs High Schools, Burbank, for tours at the Sepulveda Dam near Van Nuys, California during National Engineers Week.
The high school students were introduced to the Sepulveda Dam flood control basin and learned a part of the mission of the District because of the partnering with U.S. Army Recruiting.
“This happens to be National Engineer week and we are taking advantage of it,” said Col. Kim Colloton, USACE Los Angeles District commander. “We partnered with the Los Angeles Recruiting Battalion to enhance this outreach program.”
The tours consisted of three stations. The first stationed showed the students the operations of the dam itself, the people it takes to accomplish operations and the different career fields involved with the dam.
“General George Washington was an engineer, well before he was in the Army or our first President,” said Colloton. “Two days after the Army was founded, he saw a need for engineers and formed the Army Corps of Engineers. Today we will show you some of the missions we perform and the different jobs we employ.”
At the second station engineers explained facts about the structure, the history, how it works, the educational requirements to be an engineer and some testimony from Corps employees who were developed through USACE intern programs.
“Schools are big on STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) and a lot of them forget that the Army promotes STEM, and education in general,” said Capt. Theodore Flestado, U.S. Army Recruiting San Fernando Company commander.
The last station was the nearly 180 acres of Sepulveda Basin Wildlife Area where an ecologist, local San Fernando Valley Audubon Society President, engineers and other Corps scientists explained our role in the ecology of the entire area.
Students were also reminded to stay out of trouble, be good citizens, the need to excel in STEM courses and how to pursue a career in the Army or as an employee of the USACE.
For more information on the Sepulveda Dam area got to http://go.usa.gov/3c6AP
or to find recreation information go to http://tinyurl.com/ppokvl4