October 2017

Dinner with STEM Professionals

Last month, teachers and students from Harney, Morrow, Umatilla, Union and Wallowa counties gathered with 13 regional STEM Professionals for conversation and a three-course dinner at the Gilbert Center on the EOU campus.  Local professionals representing a wide variety of STEM careers from Health Care and Aeronautics to Natural Resources Management and Manufacturing graciously shared their time and passion for their work.

Corrine Dutto, Physical Therapist and Shane Fritz, Registered Nurse – students and teachers garnered information from the medical field, along with Parhez Sattar, Senior IT Director from Grande Ronde Hospital – who blends information systems that help those in the medical field.

Other technology gurus were Chief Technology Officer and owner of Eastern Oregon Net, Inc., Jeff Crews, who showed students how to splice tiny fiber optic cables with a fusion splicer, and also software engineer intern, Carter Cordner of Skip-Line who showed the MST-14 device – or (Mini) “skip-timer” – a device that controls the paint guns on vehicles that make the 10’ strips on roads.

Engineers from Jet Parts Engineering, Rod Sands, Toni Smith & Lucy Parker talked about reverse-engineering jet airplane parts, while Greg Barreto and Bob Walker from Barreto Manufacturing gave participants the scoop on manufacturing hydraulics. Steve Lawn, Jr. explained his work in aeronautics and mission control for Pendleton UAS (Unmanned Aerial Systems).

Students interested in animals got to meet with Emily Darch, Veterinarian, who discussed her veterinary practice while showing some of the tools of her trade. And Jackie Cupples, a wildlife biologist from US Fish & Wildlife, who has worked with dingoes in Australia showed some of her infra-red survey work.

The keynote speaker was Kendrick Moholt, a zoologist, botanist, photographer and natural history instructor for more than thirty years in North America, South America, Australia, Asia, Europe, Antarctica, and Africa. Mr. Moholt regaled all with his wonderful slides of eastern Russian where he and colleague Linda Kerley went to research and photograph Amur tigers.

Several STEM Ambassadors from around the region were able to attend with their teachers and classmates. To learn more about the STEM Ambassador program for high school students, follow this link!

All in all, the informal and informative gathering of enthusiastic participants, along with chicken cordon bleu and cheesecake, made for a delightful evening of scintillating conversation and learning!