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Friday, January 3, 2014

Public Works and Project Legacy

Sowing Inspiration, One Visit at a Time

When we last checked in with Public Works about Project Legacy – the department’s outreach program designed to interest middle school students in pursuing careers in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) – was just taking flight.

The department had recently hosted two field trips for students in the summer learning program at the West 7th Community Center.  Both events were well received by students and staff alike.
Looking to build on these earlier activities, five Public Works staff are participating in designing a STEM challenge for Saint Paul School District students this Saturday, Jan. 11, with one of its nonprofit partners, Breakthrough Twin Cities.
Students learn about a traffic signal cabinet
With Breakthrough Twin Cities’ mission of guiding highly-motivated, under-resourced kids to prepare for a college career, the partnership was a natural one for the Project Legacy program.
Public Works employees have participated in “Saturday Sessions” before, offering knowledge about their career paths to curious youth looking for information and guidance on opportunities available to them, and how to achieve them.

Jesse Farrell, a civil engineer serving in Public Works’ Street Design and Construction Division, is one of the five Public Works staff participating in the event this Saturday.
When asked why he decided to spend a Saturday morning working with kids he’d never met, Jesse commented, “There are a number of reasons why I think this event represents time well spent.  Thinking back to my time in 7th grade, I honestly didn’t even know what an engineer was, much less a civil engineer. Most of all, I’m hopeful a few of the students take interest in what we do here at Public Works and realize that in one way or another their studies will eventually have a positive impact in the community.”

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