News releases 2017
Atkins engineers help students dream big- February 21, 2017
Encouraging students to explore limitless possibilities in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) careers is a hallmark of Atkins’ community service and mentoring activities. This mantra takes on special meaning this week in recognition of Engineers Week 2017.
Programs championed by employees are supported through The Atkins Foundation, a nonprofit organization that funds grants for STEM initiatives, scholarships and other community-based programs.
To date the Foundation has awarded more than $2.5 million.
The following are among community programs recently funded by the Foundation.
Dream big in Denver
With support from the Atkins Foundation, nearly 400 children and parents in Denver got to “dream big” by watching the Denver premier of “Dream Big: Engineering Our World,” the IMAX, giant-screen film that spotlights the impact STEM has on our country and throughout the world. Engineers from Atkins’ Denver office participated in the event, which was hosted by the Colorado chapter of the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE). Atkins served as a sponsorship partner and some employees staffed the event, which allowed children and parents direct access to engineers immediately after watching the film.
“When I was in high school, I remember watching the new E-470 toll highway being built around Denver,” said Megan Caswell, an Atkins roadway engineer who took part in the event. “It captured my imagination and helped clinch my decision to become a roadway engineer. I hope this event provided that kind of experience for the students who participated by giving them the chance to see the STEM possibilities that lie ahead, the chance to dream big.”
Semester of hands-on learning
ACE Mentors of Greater Tampa, Florida, is all about introducing high school students to the fields of architecture, construction and engineering (ACE) and supporting them in their pursuits. Weekly mentoring sessions take place for teams of students participating in a semester-long project competition that culminates with selection of the top team by a jury of STEM professionals. This year’s concept project was a city park renovation that required teams to manage, design, engineer and schedule its construction. Atkins mentors provided guidance to ACE teams weekly, and Foundation funds provided scholarships to students who excelled in the program by exhibiting their passion in design, leadership and work ethic in the construction field. The hands-on project demonstrates to students how they can apply STEM concepts to make a difference in their local communities.
Inspired by robotics
Neutrinos 6433, a robotics team of six high school students in Lakeland, Florida, is looking for a repeat of a dream fulfilled in 2015 when that year’s team was crowned For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology (FIRST) Tech Challenge World Champions by the oldest youth robotics program in the world. The team bested more than 4,500 student teams from several countries. Atkins Foundation funds are helping this year’s team purchase components needed to build robots to strict tournament specifications and attend qualifying competitions leading up to this year’s championship.
Atkins’ Arun Khatri, PE, serves as a team co-coach and engineering mentor, and also has the distinction of having two children who have been part of this prestigious team. “My daughter is the captain of this year’s team and my son was captain of the 2015 World Championship team. My son, like many other former members of the Neutrinos, is currently an engineering student in college. The power of this program is demonstrated by the success of former team members.”
Keeping PACE, inspiring girls
PACE Center for Girls, Orlando branch, gives girls ages 12 through 18 a second chance to realize their full potential through encouragement in STEM and other careers. Many of the girls earn college credits while at PACE and several go on to attend college. Foundation funding supports programs that help participants build self-esteem and develop stronger personal and social skills.
Established in 2005, The Atkins Foundation is a 501(c)(3) and serves as the umbrella under which the firm’s primary philanthropic programs operate in the United States. In addition to STEM-related activities, the Foundation funds public programs for those impacted by disasters and provides assistance to public charities. The Atkins Minority Scholarship Program, which assists minority students majoring in engineering programs at universities across the country, is also funded through the Foundation.
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Notes to editors:
Atkins (www.atkinsglobal.com) is one of the world's most respected design, engineering and project management consultancies, employing some 18,300 people across the UK, North America, Middle East, Asia Pacific and Europe. We build long term trusted partnerships to create a world where lives are enriched through the implementation of our ideas. You can view Atkins’ recent projects on our website.
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Dream Big: Atkins’ engineer Megan Caswell interacts with student during a hands-on activity.
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ACE Mentors: Joined by her parents, DhaRheanne Sanders receives Atkins-sponsored scholarship from the firm’s Don Koppy at ACE banquet.
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Neutrinos 6433: Students practice building robots to competition specifications.
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PACE: Terra Harris (left) accepts Foundation grant from Atkins’ Vic Poteat and Trudy Noze, with students Shaniyah, Melaney and Janiyah, and science teacher Tiffany Mann.
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