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Posted 6/19/2017

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By Ann Marie R. Harvie
USACE, New England District

The New England District once again collaborated with the Schools to Careers Partnership to sponsor a daylong event as part of the Program’s three-day Bioengineering Symposium, April 19.

“This is the second year the District has done a full site tour – last year we toured Muddy River – but this is the fourth year we have participated in the overall event,” said Mark Anderson, STEM Coordinator for the New England District.  “The first two years were just a USACE 101 discussion with the students.”

Twenty-two 10th and 11th grade students gave up some of their April vacation to attend the symposium.  The students came from a variety of schools to include Holbrook, Blue Hills Regional Technical, Avon, Canton, Dedham, Milton, Norwood and Randolph.

New England District team members started the day by meeting the students at the Blue Hill Regional Technical High School for a USACE 101 discussion.  “Following the briefing, students traveled to New Bedford, Massachusetts and received a tour of the entire New Bedford Harbor Superfund site before returning home,” said Anderson.

According to Anderson, the School to Careers Partnership event organizer, Katherine Touafek, said the students enjoyed their experience with the New England District team.  “She said the students were buzzing on the bus ride back to Canton,” he said.  “It was obvious the New Bedford Harbor Superfund story and the education and career path discussion at the end of the day struck a chord with them.”

Anderson praised the New England District, Environmental Protection Agency team, including Project Manager Ellen Iorio and Resident Engineer Kevin Coleman, for the positive experience they created for the students.  “They took time out of their day to impact the lives and future decisions of the students,” he said.  “They made the day a rousing success.”

The educational partnership agreement between the District and the School to Careers Partnership has been in place since July 28, 2014.  The agreement is one of several the District has with local educational institutions.  The partnership is in keeping with the Corps of Engineers objectives to shape the workforce of the future and to increase STEM and Wounded Warrior initiatives.