SAME Mentoring Program Competition

Since its inception in 1994, Schemmer has supported the Society of American Military Engineers (SAME) Student Mentoring Program with providing volunteer mentors, competition judges and by sponsoring team awards. This year, on competition day (March 29), there was a total of 19 High School Teams and 10 Middle School Teams that competed. Terry Wood, AIA, LEED AP served as a judge. He also presented the Schemmer Sponsored Award of Distinction to the Bryan Middle School team for their project – Keystone XL Pipeline: A Children’s Museum Exhibit, at the evening ceremony. A total of 13 students from Bryan Middle School were on the competition team.

The Student Mentoring Program (SMP) is designed to stimulate Secondary School students’ interest and excitement in engineering, architecture and related sciences. SMP is a critical thinking, problem solving program that engages students to solve real world problems in the community. The Society of American Military Engineers and the Peter Kiewit Institute support teachers and students in this program with mentors from the engineering/architectural fields, guidelines, teacher/student workshops and the structure that provides an authentic audience for the demonstration of the student solutions. The use of engineering skills teach team work; sustainable design; presentation skills; use of graphic materials; model development; cost estimating; and creative, persuasive and technical writing, all of which are supported within the SMP experience. The Student Mentoring Program has touched the lives and provided career information to over 4,000 students. Many of these students would not have known about the design professions otherwise and are now practicing professionals. They credit SMP for their decision to enter the field.

Project: Keystone XL Pipeline: A Children's Museum Exhibit
The TransCanada Keystone XL Pipeline project and its route through Nebraska have been a matter of concern for many in our state for some time. Fears centered around installation harming the fragile ecosystem of the Sandhills and potential leaks contaminating the Ogallala Aquifer. We recognize that this is an emotional issue, but we found that a lot of misinformation has been circulating about the pipeline itself and TransCanada’s safety precautions. In an effort to allay the public’s fears, we propose a display in the Children’s Museum in Omaha that will be fun for children, at the same time educate their parents about the XL Pipeline, its safety features and plans to resolve any leaks that threaten the environment.