Area students have a chance to "Dream Big" during Engineers Week

Dr. Kwigizile speaks with students prior to the movie.

Some 400 middle school and high school students from the Kalamazoo area had a chance to “dream big” when they were treated to a private screening of a new 3-D  IMAX film featuring engineers, their work and engineering’s greatest marvels around the world.

The showings -- during National Engineers Week -- were sponsored by WMU’s College of Engineering and Applied Sciences and the Transportation Research Center for Livable Communities at WMU.

Dream Big: Engineering Our World was designed to bring engineering into the forefront of society and inspire students to pursue engineering careers. Dr. Jun-Seok Oh, director of the Transportation Center for Livable Communities (TRCLC), and Dr. Valerian Kwigizile, associate director of the TRCLC, had the opportunity to speak to the students prior to the movie about the research conducted by the Transportation Center for Livable Communities and how engineers impact lives every day. Oh said he was pleased the center could provide the outreach opportunity for students and get them interested and excited about the engineering field.

“Engaging young people with the Dream Big movie was a way to show not only how engineers construct bridges and buildings, but how we solve problems and create solutions that really impact our society on a much larger scale,” he said. 

Several students from WMU’s student chapter of the American Society of Engineers participated in a panel and answered questions from the audience following the movie.

Dream Big is the first giant screen project to promote the educational STEM movement (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math). It was produced by the MacGillivray Freeman Films, the Academy-Award nominated producers of Everest and The Living Sea, and in partnership with the American Society of Civil Engineers, Bechtel and a coalition of engineering organizations.