By Dino W. Buchanan, Honolulu District Public Affairs
More than 200 engineers and friends of the 17 organizations within the Hawaii Council of Engineering Societies plus invited local VIPs and dignitaries and engineers from the Honolulu District are expected to gather at the Hale Koa's Banyan Tree Showroom Feb. 24 for a luncheon to kick off Engineers Week 2015, which runs Feb. 22-28.
"Engineers Week is a great opportunity to showcase the accomplishments and capabilities of the Honolulu District’s professional engineers, architects and surveyors," said Todd Barnes, chief of Engineering & Construction, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Honolulu District.
The 2015 Engineers Week theme is “Discover Engineering!” and the local theme is “sustainability.”
Statewide Engineers Week activities include: signing of an Engineers Week Proclamation and photo opportunity with Honolulu Mayor Kirk Caldwell; signing of an Engineers Week Proclamation and photo opportunity with Hawaii Gov. David Ige; Engineers Week static displays at Pearlridge Shopping Center Feb. 22 by engineering organizations; attendance at the kick-off luncheon and the HCES (Hawaii Council of Engineering Societies) Engineers Week Annual Awards Banquet held February 28. The Corps of Engineers supports all of these events.
The celebration of National Engineers Week was started in 1951 by the National Society of Professional Engineers in conjunction with President George Washington's Birthday. President Washington is considered the nation's first engineer, notably for his surveying work.
The Hawaii Council of Engineering Societies (HCES) has been in existence since 1965. It is an umbrella organization for the engineering societies in Hawaii with seventeen member organizations. The charter is "to improve the public image of engineers, encourage registration of all qualified engineers, and to stimulate qualified students in public and private schools to enter engineering and related sciences as their life work." HCES has been celebrating Engineers Week in Hawaii since 1965.
Barnes and several of the District’s Department of the Army interns are creating Corps of Engineers and Honolulu District photographic exhibits that showcase the District’s missions for public display at Pearlridge Shopping Center.
Jointly hosted by the Honolulu Post of the Society of American Military Engineers (SAME) and the Hawaii Council of Engineering Societies (HCES), the 2015 Kick- off Luncheon will feature keynote speaker Mark B. Glick, Administrator, Hawaii State Energy Office, Department of Business, Economic Development & Tourism whose presentation topic will be "Hawaii’s Clean Energy Transformation.”
Each year during Engineers Week, the HCES organizes display exhibits to increase public awareness and appreciation of the engineering profession. The purpose of the displays and interactive exhibits is to improve the public image of the engineering profession and to stimulate qualified students in public and private schools to choose careers in engineering and in related science fields.
The public is invited to join in the Engineers Week celebration beginning at the Pearlridge Mall in Honolulu where static engineering exhibits will be on display at Uptown Center Court Feb. 22 and the Hawaii Council of Engineering Societies and Pearlridge Center will sponsor the Engineers Week Hawaii VEX IQ State Robotics Championship featuring elementary and middle school teams. Robotics is one of the outreach programs to encourage students to enter the fields of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM).
Prior to Engineers Week, Honolulu District engineers and staff attended the Oahu 2015 MATHCOUNTS competition with personnel volunteering their services as moderators, proctors and scorers at the Oahu competition Feb. 7 at Kamehameha Schools, Honolulu. Sixth, seventh and eighth graders from more than 36 Oahu public and private schools participated in the competition. Respective winners from Oahu, Maui and the island of Hawaii will meet for the State MATHCOUNTS championship on Oahu March 7 at Kamehameha Schools. District volunteers will be donating their time at the state competition. State winners advance to the National MATHCOUNTS Championship May 8 in Boston, Mass.
The MATHCOUNTS program in its 32nd year is sponsored by the National Society of Professional Engineers at the state and local levels to emphasize the importance of mathematical skills in the development of future technology and encourage students to excel in these areas. The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers recognizes the critical role that STEM education plays in enabling the U.S. to remain the economic and technological leaders of the global marketplace, and enabling the Department of Defense and Army in the security of our Nation. The Corps is committed to teaming with others to strengthen STEM-related programs that inspire current and future generations of young people to pursue careers in STEM fields.
MATHCOUNTS builds skills, promotes strategic problem solving and challenges students to sharpen their analytical abilities by bringing together sixth, seventh and eighth grade students through the MATHCOUNTS competition program, a national middle school coaching and competitive mathematics program that promotes mathematics achievement through a series of fun and engaging contests as individual, team and single elimination head-to-head individual events. The program exists in all 50 states plus U.S. territories and the Department of Defense and State Department schools.
Also coinciding with this year’s National Engineers Week activities is the University of Hawaii at Manoa’s College of Engineering Career Day on Feb. 25. Honolulu District Workforce Management staff and District engineering personnel will be on hand to provide future engineers with educational career guidance, information on potential job opportunities within the Corps, as well as discussing potential STEM field career paths.