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Central Lyon CSD

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"What is Engineering?" presented to Eighth Grade Students

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The Raven Ambassador team exists to promote Raven and the Raven Way both internally to our team members and externally to members of the community. Each year, the team sets goals to carry out its purpose--- much like each department across the company. When the Ambassadors met to set goals for fiscal year 2018, we chose to make Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) education a priority, promoting the various fields of engineering to youth in our communities. 

"At Raven, we are proactively investing in STEM education because we believe the need is great," said Dan Rykhus, CEO. "We believe we have excellent opportunities for students who are interested in STEM employment fields. ... However, Raven's commitment to STEM goes beyond job opportunities. We support STEM education in our communities and schools."

With a STEM goal in mind, we formed a subcommittee to define and give life to the goal. The team chose to develop an engaging and informative presentation to give to students at the middle school level (grades 6-8). We wanted a meaningful presentation and hands-on activity --- not only highlighting all the great things Raven does, but also encouraging an interest in engineering career paths to kids who might be starting to think, "What's next?"

In January, this team had the pleasure of presenting the topic "What is Engineering?" to 65 eighth grade students at Central Lyon Middle school in Rock Rapids, IA. Not only were we were able to educate the students about who Raven is and what we do, but we were also able to break down the various fields of engineering, what types of jobs are out there, and what activities, clubs, and events they can take part in today to further spark their interest. We even had a few students join us up on stage to help us demonstrate buoyancy and explain its importance in our stratospheric balloons for NASA and Google. 

Overall, we were thrilled with the level of interest and amount of interacting we received from the group. In fact, Mr. Pytleski was so happy that he has recommended this Raven program to other middle school STEM coordinators. Our goal is to continue holding events throughout the year to reach different schools in Sioux Falls and the surrounding area. Eventually, we hope to expand the program to the other communities in which Raven has a presence, including Texas, California, and beyond. We look forward to engaging with more team members for future events! 

Want to get involved with a future event? Send us an email at RavenAmbassadors@ravenind.com

Special thanks to our Ambassador STEM committee for all their efforts: Jeff Walls (AERO), Pat Lokken (AERO), Emily Wegner (AERO), Darrin Eichacker (EFD), Andrew Leach (EFD), Lisa Koch (CSD) and Sara Lopez (ATD).

Article from Raven NEWS & NOTES March 2018 edition
Written by Raven Ambassadors Sara Lopez (ATD) and Lisa Koch (CSD)