Teaming Up for Bright Futures

Deciding next steps for the bridge-making project.

May 4, 2018

You could call it a bridge to the future: another way we’re reaching out to build stronger communities. Our company, in cooperation with the Cleveland State University’s Washkewicz College of Engineering, provided financial support for an after-school program called Pathway to Engineering. From March 20 through April 24, girls and teens from Cleveland-area schools (grades 6-12) met once a week for engineering- and career-focused activities.

We admit it: this is our favorite bridge and was a thoughtful thank you to FirstEnergy for our support.

On April 24, FirstEnergy employees Morgan Cooper, acting supervisor, Transmission Engineering Design and Amanda Ostberg, engineer III, Energy Delivery Transmission Design joined the group – along with women engineers from Nestle, USG Corporation and Cleveland State – to talk about STEM careers and help with a fun, hands-on activity: building a wooden craft-stick bridge capable of withstanding 10 pounds of weight.

“You could see the girls working together to make last-minute adjustments and overcome obstacles,” said Amanda. “It was inspiring to see their creativity, intelligence and determination throughout the program.”

Morgan and Amanda also shared how they became interested in engineering, details about job responsibilities as well as advice about education, career and life, during a panel discussion. The program included practice on making positive impressions as well as encouragement about the importance of continued education.

“What was rewarding is that it was clear that this was a great opportunity for the students. They asked the panel really great questions,” said Morgan. “We appreciated sharing our experience.”

Triumph: the small-but-mighty mini-trestle bridge holds 10 pounds.