“We really try to be our clients’ most trusted advisor,” said Oklahoma Aviation Leader Sean McGraw, PE. “And part of that is being connected to communities, understanding what they need and how they can grow, and Lawton is a great example. I'm proud to work for a company that really prioritizes relationships because we’re a relationship-driven business.”
Through GarverGives, the company's corporate giving program, Garver sponsored and developed the Engineer for a Week program which introduced 60 students to the world of engineering, from the water we drink to the bridges we travel across. Experts from Garver spent the week leading hands-on activities that demonstrated STEM concepts and showed kids how they are applied in real life. The students explored water filtration, volume, aerospace, roadways, and bridges. They capped off the week with a Rube Goldberg challenge.
The students also interacted with real professionals in the field to see what careers in aviation, transportation, and water look like. During tours of the Medicine Park Water Treatment plant and the Lawton airport, the kids learned not only about all that it takes to keep a city running, but also about careers they could one day pursue.
“The reason why STEM education is important is because it accomplishes essentially three things,” said Oklahoma Water Team Leader Mary Elizabeth Mach, PE. “First, it exposes young kids to what an engineer really is and what they do, and it puts a face with the name. ... Second, it creates a pipeline of professionals who can hopefully become involved as we incubate the next generation of engineers. And third, it engages city officials and staff to foster a relationship between the community and city leadership.”
Since 2015, GarverGives has awarded more than $500,000 in funding for STEM education initiatives for K-12 schools, educators, and students.