JCC students learn about engineering at bridge construction site

Updated: Sep. 11, 2019 at 12:21 PM EDT
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WATERTOWN, N.Y. (WWNY) - Jefferson Community College engineering students had both their hard hats and thinking caps on Wednesday as they learned about Watertown's new Arsenal street bridge.

"It's pretty cool. I'm a civil engineer major so seeing this kind of stuff is really interesting to me. It's not every day you get to take field trip to go out to a bridge," said Derek Cuyler, JCC engineering student.

A state Department of Transportation worker explained some of the engineering and construction behind the $8.3 million project and answered questions.

Genny Miller, a professor of engineering at JCC, likes to make sure that her students get out to sites like this one every year.

"Current research shows that the more you can get them outside of the classroom and see this in action, it is going to stick with them and they will retain that information better," she said.

“You can’t visualize something you’ve never seen before. So, seeing it and being able to applicate in class, it just makes it more interesting and it’s easier to understand,” said Cuyler.

Wednesdays lesson isn't just an opportunity to learn outside the class room, it's also an opportunity for students to see what JCC alumni are doing in the engineering field.

Miller says that many former students now work for the DOT.

"Our hope is in the future they have met some of the people that they might want to ask about jobs. We do everything possible to work together to show the the need for good engineers in our area," she said.

Miller says that back in classroom students will take a look at actual plans for the bridge and keep discussing things engineers have to consider on the site.

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