Today is National STEM/STEAM Day, a day that recognizes how important it is for kids to have an education full of opportunities to explore science, technology, engineering, art, and mathematics. Without people intrigued to pursue STEAM topics, we wouldn’t have engineers keeping our infrastructure functioning.
To celebrate, we’re looking back at what sparked the interest of our engineers in their early days.
Shelby Asato, a civil engineer who focuses on water and wastewater projects, was inspired to pursue engineering by her father, who practiced civil engineering in her hometown of Honolulu, Hawai’i.
“One of my fondest memories is sitting in the car with my sister after Judo while my dad responded to a water main break on one of his projects. I could see this big hole from excavating and water gushing. It was one of the first times I saw what my dad did. It was unfortunate that the water main broke, but it was impressive seeing the site, even if it was just from the safety of the car. I was lucky enough to grow up with math and science at the forefront, so it always seemed like a career in engineering was possible.”
Gabe Crop, Murraysmith’s transportation discipline manager, has always been interested in seeing a project develop from the ground up.
“As far back as I can remember, Legos were my favorite things to play with. This was reinforced by being exposed to other cool tools and building materials by my uncle. Whether it was building things or solving puzzles, I have always felt amazing gratification in finding STEM oriented solutions to problems, which has evolved into my engineering profession. Even as an adult, I still get excited to do a marble race or egg drop contest with my sons as part of their STEM projects at school. Let’s continue to show the next generation how they can take their passion for STEM and make a meaningful difference in the lives of others.”
Davina Carboni, a senior engineer specializing in environmental infrastructure design and compliance, found inspiration in the infrastructure she saw while growing up in California.
“As a kid, we would drive over the California aqueduct (state water project), and I liked to imagine it was carrying water across the state the same way our veins carry blood throughout the body. After college, I was drawn to Sacramento, the heart of the state’s water policy and infrastructure planning. I hope to share my passion for engineering, and specifically water infrastructure, with my daughter.”
Ben Foster, a civil engineer primarily focused on water distribution and reservoirs, took after his dad, a civil engineer and airplane hobbyist.
“While I was growing up, my dad involved me in many of his home projects, including building an airplane, a project that took over three years to complete. He was taking advantage of the free labor, I suppose, but in doing so, he got me to think critically, solve problems, think outside the box, and use ingenuity. I believe this started me down the path towards an engineering career. I strongly suggest getting kids involved in something that piques their interest, like an after-school activity, a school organized club, or a hobby. This personal growth commonly translates to success in a future career.”