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  /   ESCO Engages Blog - A Weir Group Publication
ESCO Engages Blog - A Weir Group Publication

The Enduring Benefits of Mentoring the
Next Generation of STEM Leaders 
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by Steven Hyde

 

30 July 2020

 

One of the highlights throughout my 17-year career with Weir ESCO has been serving as an ambassador for the company’s commitment to STEM education. The company has an abiding interest in supporting community development and driving STEM is a priority. Over the years, the organization has funded sponsorships, hosted internships and supported many other STEM-oriented experiences for students and the community at large.

 

As an engineer, I’ve had numerous opportunities to mentor engineering students and young professionals, and I continue to do so. It’s an endeavor I’m proud and excited to be part of, and it’s rewarding to see many of my mentees go on to do the same.

 

This summer, Weir ESCO is partnering for the first time with Saturday Academy, an education nonprofit in Portland that provides access to hands-on STEM learning for diverse students in grades two through 12. It’s a well-run program that connects bright and curious younger students with community experts who teach and mentor them in unique, in-depth learning experiences.

  

Over the summer, many of the participating high school students are working on STEM projects that directly benefit the community and help the students develop critical skills in problem-solving, collaboration and business acumen. These students are top-notch, and the application process is highly competitive.

 

Here at Weir ESCO, we are mentoring a talented senior, Erim Hur, whose project this summer is to mobilize our casting exhibit in a demonstration trailer that can go into the Portland community. For years, we’ve taken the casting exhibit to multiday community events like the OMSI Maker Faire to educate students and adults about metal casting technology. Erim’s casting exhibit trailer design will allow Weir ESCO to expand its outreach by making the exhibit more easily available to a greater number of schools and organizations, sparking interest in STEM fields among additional young people. 

 

I find Weir ESCO and Saturday Academy’s new partnership to be both brilliant and gratifying. All participants—the student, her mentor, the company and the community—benefit in multiple and enduring ways. It’s powerful and motivating that Weir ESCO is committed to developing the next generation of STEM leaders, with Saturday Academy being the latest example.



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Steven during a tour with Walla Walla University student​s in 2018.

 

Looking back at my career so far, I’m grateful for every opportunity to develop people and better our communities. And examining the many aspects of this project—whether it be Erim’s exposure to collaborating with professional engineers or another community member’s introduction to pouring molten metal—each learning opportunity helps enrich the community we live in. 

  

Note:  Be sure to check back this fall for a feature story on the outcome of Erim’s mobile casting booth project.