ATI's Specialty Rolled Products employees are participating in the 2023 WQED Design Lives Here program, an initiative that supports and facilitates engagement with engineering for Pittsburgh-area students in grades five through eight.
During the semester-long educational program, teachers and students are given the materials and professional support to conduct engineering activities in the classroom or after-school programs. As the school year progresses, professional engineers serve as mentors and resources for those participating students, encouraging and supporting their pursuits. Students from 21 schools in the Western Pennsylvania area participated, with students exercising and strengthening their design and problem-solving skillset.
In the Spring, all student participants are invited to a day of engineering challenges where they are grouped into teams to compete in challenges for an assortment of prizes. ATI engineers are present at the competition, serving as a mentor and guide to an assigned student team.
This is where ATI Specialty Rolled Products employees begin their participation, engaging as mentors to students fostering an interest in engineering. Four ATI engineers volunteered as mentors at Deer Lakes Middle School, Franklin Regional Middle School, and Trinity Middle School through ATI's sponsorship. Their involvement led up to the program's culminating competition on April 13, 2023.
"It was inspiring to interact with the students and watch them develop their engineering thought processes as they tackled the program challenges," said David Berry, Senior Director, Technology for ATI Specialty Rolled Products, "Not only did the kids have to develop their own solutions, but they learned to sell the value of their solution to their peers as well, which is a critical skill for success in engineering roles."
"We are honored to support the WQED Design Lives Here program in its goal of growing student interest in engineering by providing the mentors and materials," said Berry. "It's exciting to think that the challenges kids are solving through the program may serve as the spark for a lifelong pursuit of careers in engineering and science fields. And it's not just beneficial for the students…participating in the program is rewarding for us as volunteers, too. We are investing not only in our communities, but also developing the next generation of potential Proven Performers."