PILOT MOUNTAIN — As part of Surry County Schools career readiness efforts and the Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) focus, local engineers visited Pilot Mountain Elementary school fifth graders this past week.
Brandon Palmer, a engineer with Ottenweller Company Inc., visited Angela Caswell’s fifth grade class during a lunch and learn. Palmer’s job was to tell student about his day in the workplace.
Students were eager to learn about what his current job entailed and how he carried out his workplace duties on daily basis.
Beginning his presentation, Palmer brought a standing banner that showed many photos of the inside of his company and the different machinery they used.
Students eagerly asked questions about the plasma table, laser cutters and automatic welding. “Can it make giant Lego pieces?” asked one student. Palmer’s answer was the machine could make anything they could draw up.
Palmer used a two dimensional baseball cut from steel, designed by a high school class, as an example of what the machinery was capable of doing. “Wow” and “that’s cool” were some remarks made by the students, when given the opportunity to examine the steel emblem.
On average, “the company will cut and weld parts that weigh on average 500 to 5,000 pounds,” said Palmer.
“Do you use the have the same technology as the military?” asked one student, to which Palmer replied, “Yes, we do.”
During the presentation Caswell asked Palmer to explain to students what subjects they should be focusing on now, if they were interested in pursuing a career in engineering.
Palmer explained that he used math every day at his job. “I also use trigonometry, physics and chemistry.”
“Chemistry is a big one, I have to know how much nickel is in a sheet of steel. How much nickle determines if the steel will rust or not.”
In closing Palmer instructed students to “just listen, and to take advantage of all the opportunities they have now.”
Reach Eva Winemiller at (336) 415-4739 or Twitter @ReporterEva