Redstone Report: Students get lesson in engineering

HUNTSVILLE, AL (WAFF) - It's estimated that there will be a shortfall of about a million engineers by 2020. That's why the Army Corps of Engineers is already looking for future employees, and they're starting young. During National Engineer Week, they took their search to J.O. Johnson High School, hoping to spark an engineering interest in kids.

While many students at the high school will graduate soon, what's next is a question many might be struggling with, but not Daveon More. He's a senior who plans on joining the military and using his strength at math to pursue his dream. More tells us his interest in cars lead to his desire to get a degree in automotive engineering.

For Col. Bob Ruch, Commander of the Engineering and Support Center at the Army Corps of Engineers in Huntsville, it doesn't matter whether it's an interest in civil, chemical, or automotive engineering, as long as it's an interest in engineering. Col. Ruch talks about the future need for good engineers, "I mean, we have a great work force, but people are retiring every year and we need to replace these engineers."

But not every kids is as excited about engineering as Col. Ruch or Daveon More. That's why Corps employees brought some teaching tools to the high school for a hands on lesson. Dry spaghetti and marshmallows were used by kids in a competition to see who could build the highest and most sturdy structure.

The lesson may seem silly, but it just could be the exercise that sparks an interest and leads to a career. For Col. Ruch, that's what it's all about, " If we can convert one kids, I'll feel successful, but I think we'll do better than that. We'll build some interest and hopefully see these kids in the workforce in a few years.

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