SGH Celebrates Ten Years Partnering with the LIFT2 STEM Education Program

July 14, 2016

Simpson Gumpertz & Heger (SGH) recently celebrated its tenth year participating in the Leadership Initiatives for Teaching Technology (LIFT2) program by hosting nearly forty sixth graders from Ottoson Middle School in Arlington, Massachusetts. The LIFT2 program places middle and high school teachers into paid externships with companies in science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) fields to experience what careers in those industries might look like for their students. 

SGH welcomed Ottoson teacher Samantha Glaser as an extern last summer and gave her the opportunity to see a wide variety of engineering tasks and projects. “It was a great learning experience to spend the summer at SGH last year,” said Samantha. “I worked on all sorts of fun projects to learn about the field and bring back some interesting experiences to share with my students.”

To culminate the program, Samantha brought her students to SGH’s Waltham office for Engineering Day on 20 May 2016, where they took part in a series of engineering demonstrations to learn about the field and ask questions. SGH’s Casey Williams served as Master of Ceremonies and kept the children engaged throughout the day’s sessions, which included the following:

  • Christopher Hung and Christopher Grey taught the students about heat conduction and convection using an infrared camera, and air leakage using a smoke pencil and window model
  • Kevin LaMalva discussed fire protection engineering and demonstrated a flame arrestor 
  • Paul Kassabian talked about bridge building and design and led a human bridge demonstration, assisted by Mike Tecci
  • Casey, Mike, and Abby Barker led the students in a marshmallow challenge, where students broke into teams to build a structure using spaghetti, tape, string, and one marshmallow 
  • Art Davies gave an overview of lab testing and a demonstration about wood’s performance in bending, assisted by Casey Sturrup  
  • Susan Knack-Brown ended the day by presenting “Why Engineering?” over pizza with the students

SGH has participated in the LIFT2 program for a decade to inspire local students to continue STEM education and pursue related careers. Our first extern, Katie Clarke, spent the summer with SGH in 2006 and is now the LIFT2 Program Director. “The LIFT2 program really helped me take a step forward in my teaching career,” said Katie. “My time at SGH allowed me to see the STEM field in person and inspired me to continue giving back by taking an active role in LIFT2.”

“There is a real need to encourage today’s students to pursue STEM degrees and become the next generation of engineers,” said Stella Mereves-Carolan, SGH’s LIFT2 coordinator. “We love to learn at SGH, and it’s a lot of fun to work with these teachers and students to share our experience and move the industry forward.”

Read more about the program
Watch the 2015 SGH Engineering Day video