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Aspiring engineer learns valuable lessons during STEM shadow day

Far East District
Published Nov. 7, 2014
Seoul American High School senior Warren Nieto (left) learns about mechanical engineer design drawings from Eugene Min, chief of the tech review section at the district compound Nov. 5.

Seoul American High School senior Warren Nieto (left) learns about mechanical engineer design drawings from Eugene Min, chief of the tech review section at the district compound Nov. 5.

Sin Choe, district mechanical engineer, explains to Seoul American High School senior Warren Nieto how the process of design analysis works.

Sin Choe, district mechanical engineer, explains to Seoul American High School senior Warren Nieto how the process of design analysis works.

Seoul American High School senior Warren Nieto visited the Far East District compound Nov. 5 to experience what life as an engineer is really like.

“It’s great to get out of the classroom and have this hands-on experience,” said Nieto. “Watching what people do on a daily basis and trying it out for yourself is much better than reading about it in a textbook where you don’t get a full picture about how it’s really done.”

Nieto visited the district’s design branch where he was introduced to computer mechanical system simulations and how computers are used to design complex building mechanical systems.

“He saw what real mechanical engineers do and got an idea of what mechanical engineering really is,” said Son Ha, engineering division design branch chief.  “Young students his age are still figuring out their future careers. This experience can be an eye opener for him.”

Nieto said the opportunity to get one on one presentations from professional engineers at the district was invaluable and very rewarding.

“I really enjoyed listening to the engineers, soaking up their knowledge, taking notes and learning how they do things such as what goes in to the design process,” said Nieto.

The student shadow day is part of STEMed, a science, technology, engineering and mathematics educational partnership between the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers headquarters and Department of Defense Dependent Schools. 

“I never had the opportunity to shadow an engineer when I was younger,” said Eugene Min, chief of the tech review section, who explained to Nieto design analysis and drawings. “I had to learn from my own mistakes, but he will have us to ask questions to as his career progresses.”

Nieto has plans to go to college and major in mechanical engineering with a focus on designing and maintaining vehicles or firearms. 

“This whole experience has really broadened my perspective about engineering and in other aspects as well so I can make more informed choices for my future,” said Nieto.