Science Matters

Geologist David Ebinger volunteered to help judge a science fair on January 16 at Harbison West Elementary School, in Irmo, South Carolina. He was encouraged to participate by his West Columbia office co-worker Mickey Edwards, whose wife is a teacher there. What surprised him the most was the sheer quantity of the entries, which he described as “somewhere north of 150.” David was in good company with four other judges: a retired engineer, a geologist at Congaree National Park, a teacher, and the science director for School District Five of Lexington and Richland Counties.

Over the course of eight hours, the judges selected their top choices from three groups: 4th and 5th grades, and gifted/advanced. These were then scored according to the South Carolina Science Fair rubric, and a panel of teachers selected from among them projects that will advance to the school district fair.

Kirsten Wilde Saw Her Shadow

L. to R., Kirsten Wilde, Mishwa Bhavsar

As a result of an inquiry (“I want to be an engineer and I have a project to job shadow someone”) sent to Schnabel via the contact page of our website, Mishwa Bhavsar, a junior at Garnet Valley High School in Glen Mills, Pa., shadowed Kirsten Wilde of West Chester’s geostructural group on Friday, January 5. It was excellent timing, as Branch Leader Mike Roscoe had organized a lunch program, “2017: The Year in Review,” during which various folks made interesting presentations related to their departments.  Kirsten also introduced the young student to staff who represented diversity in age, points in their careers, and discipline focus.

Mishwa, who came away from the experience with a realistic perspective of what it takes to run and work at a business in the A/E/C industry, shared her impressions back at school in a PowerPoint presentation. It concluded with her final thoughts, which were, “It is a great field to work in because you don’t have to work on only one thing every day,” and “It was a great experience to have, which could help in the future when we really start looking for a job.”

Knoxville Office Builds Community with Legos

Once a week Seth Frank, a senior engineer in our Knoxville office, helps with homework and tutoring at Emerald Youth Foundation’s after school care.  On December 12, 2017, he presented “Who Are Engineers?” to a group of urban middle-schoolers there.  To augment Seth’s efforts, the office also raised money for 22 LEGO sets as parting gifts for the students after they learned how engineers touch their lives every day and that they too have the potential to become engineers.  The students told Seth how to make a peanut butter sandwich in an amusing exercise on how to provide clear instructions, and they honed their engineering skills by building marshmallow and toothpick towers.

Greensboro’s Extended Holiday Cheer

The close-knit and civic-minded Greensboro office spread holiday cheer throughout the community from Thanksgiving through Christmas this year, embodying “‘Tis the season for giving!” spirit. Greensboro Urban Ministry, which provides food and shelter to local families, was the beneficiary of a charitable donation effort led by Scarlett Kitts.  Good deeds continued in December, this time benefiting Hope for Christmas. Led by Ben Bradley, staff helped fulfill a family’s Christmas wish list by buying, wrapping and delivering their presents, pictured under the tree.  Yes, North Carolina, there is a Santa Claus!

FOX Holiday Socks Rocks!

The community-minded Corporate and Richmond offices chose FOX Holiday Socks as the beneficiary of their annual holiday charitable giving initiative for 2017. The event is the result of FOX Richmond, Virginia Family Dentistry, and The Salvation Army banding together to create a brighter holiday season for local families by filling holiday stockings for infants to two-year-olds and 12 to14-year-olds. With guidance from the event website, Corporate and Richmond exceeded their goal and produced a total of 29 stockings jam-packed with goodies for the two age groups. Happy holidays!