#KCSTI 2015 Final Week Highlights: #eitas Transportation Center, Black & Veatch, #BNSF, and mock interviews!

Monday, July 6, 2015 – Day 15

eitas is Jackson County’s SB40, which provides targeted case management to people with developmental disabilities.  They offer a transportation program that serves people eligible for their services in the Kansas City metro area, getting them to workplaces throughout Jackson County. In addition, eitas provides specialized weekend and evening transportation. KCSTI students were given a showcase of the numerous careers available at the eitas Transportation Center.  Students explored the buses, examining their specialized interiors and cameras and they watched buses being washed, repaired, and inspected.  Students also saw the software eitas uses to follow and navigate buses, explaining the logistics behind designing the routes and keeping customers from waiting too long.  Lastly, students met the man who watches footage of eitas bus cameras to ensure each driver is obeying traffic laws and keeping the customers safe.  He explained that understandably, sometimes there are accidents, and the cameras have actually been used to defend drivers in courts of law!

In the afternoon, the students had the pleasure of testing out those bridges they worked so hard on for weeks to prepare.  The students watched as the weights were turned, adding pounds at a time to show the bridge’s load capacity.  Dahnavon, Dorian, Matthew, Terranae and Marc’s bridge proved to be the most efficient. However, as the students pointed out, aesthetics are important in bridge design as well.  Bridges must look beautiful within the town or landscape.  The most aesthetically-pleasing bridge was voted on by staff to be LaCeaihra, CJ, Joey, Quincy, and Kenzie’s bridge.  Afterwards, the students discussed the faults in their bridges and what they would change if they could complete the challenge again.

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Tuesday, July 7, 2015 – Day 16

Black & Veatch is an engineering firm that specializes in telecommunications, water, and energy.  KCSTI students visited the Leawood campus and heard from two engineers and one engineering technician.  First, the presenters shared feats that Black and Veatch has accomplished within its various engineering fields.  Next, students heard about each presenters’ background – where were they educated?  How did they come to Black and Veatch?  What do they do on a day-to-day basis?  The students learned that the engineers attended undergrad and graduate school, while the engineering technician had completed his Associate’s Degree and an additional technical degree.  It was valuable to learn how different educational backgrounds can prepare a person for different careers, all still under the engineering umbrella.

The BNSF Technical Training Center tour was very informative!  Students began the tour with a BNSF facility safety briefing.  Next, they learned about how railroads are the backbone of American’s Freight Transportation.  Did you know that automobiles, US grain, coal and wheat are the number one products moved by railway and that railway rank number 2 as the cheapest way to move freight?  We also learned that BNSF is a leading U.S. railroad, as well as part of the fourth largest company in the U.S.  Because BNSF is a technical training facility, they provide many different types of training, including engineering, mechanical, and telecommunications training.  KCSTI students had the opportunity to experience the Railway Traffic Control Simulator, which they really enjoyed, and tour the locomotive mechanical lab room and the signal apprentice lab.  We learned that these technical programs take at least 2 to 3 years to complete.  We would like to thank BNSF for an awe-inspiring tour.

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Wednesday, July 8, 2015 – Day 17

Day 17 started out with the students joining the mentors at Flarsheim Hall to add the finishing touches to their projects.  Then, they headed to the classroom so they could have an opportunity to perform their presentation in front of their peers. Not only did they present in front of one another, but they also provided constructive criticism for each group.

After lunch, the students met in the UMKC Administrative Center to have mock interviews. Volunteers from MODOT, KCATA, FAA, MARC, and AIM met us here to lead these mock interviews with the students.

The students finished the day up with heading back to Royal Hall to prepare for the next day’s trip at the MODOT SCOUT office. The students divided themselves into different positions for a role-playing game they will participate in the next day.

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