May 2, 2014
By Tracee Stanford, Project Exploration Media Instructor
Have you ever stepped onto the sidewalk of a building and wondered how the different aspects surrounding it came to be? Who decides the location and design of above and below ground structures, such as parking lots, that complete the make up of small and large scale developments in our communities? On Wednesday, April 23rd Project Exploration’s Youth Science and Media (YSM) students at Young Women’s Leadership Charter School learned that these are just some of the responsibilities of a civil/site engineer.
YSM student journalists had the opportunity to profile civil engineer Kelsey A. Taylor, P.E. Many of the youth were intrigued by Taylor’s role as a site engineer and president of a growing company, Engage Civil Incorporated. According to Taylor, site engineers perform numerous technical, organizational and supervisory tasks including applying designs and plans to mark out new developments. Taylor also says that, as president of his company, his job goes beyond working alongside construction managers, architects and property developers. He’s also responsible for finding new clients and doing all of the accounting work for his new business. YSM student journalist Jayda Hubbard acknowledged that a job that she thought was easy, “being creative at a desk and making designs and blueprints,” is actually very challenging. “You have the hard part,” Hubbard said to Taylor. “Leaving the office, interacting with people on site and getting things right, on top of running your business.”
Taylor agreed that there are some challenges to site engineering. He says it requires much team work to mesh his designs with the expectations and desires of others involved in projects. For example, he says someone could possibly say ” I like your designs just fine, but I want to put a tree right here and if you put a pipe right there my tree is going to die.” Lucky for Taylor, he enjoys talking with people. He says the process of engaging people results in better designs and relationships that help build structures and community.
The YSM team continues to standout as budding journalists, growing in professionalism and interviewing skills each week. I am especially pleased with the teams effort to actively listen and offer good feedback and follow up questions to their interview source. The youth are also making many improvements in camera presence and I’m excited to see more of their personalities on camera in upcoming projects.
The Project Exploration Youth Science and Media program is produced by youth media makers in collaboration with Free Spirit Media.
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