WSCC holds YES Days for seventh-graders

MARIETTA – Washington State Community College played host to the 21st annual Young Engineers and Scientists (YES) Days on April 11 and 12-an event for Washington and Morgan County seventh-graders.

YES Days activities taught students about science and engineering careers in the Mid-Ohio Valley, within the state and beyond. This year, more than 700 students from 12 schools participated in the event.

“YES Days started out as ‘Young Engineers and Scientists Field Days’ in 1992, and the idea originated in Texas with a young engineer named Francisco Vacas,” said Mary Lou Moegling, a YES Days organizer for the past 20 years.

“Vacas worked at the local Amoco plant (currently Solvay Specialty Polymers) and shared the idea with the Marietta Area Chamber of Commerce’s Telesis Leadership Training participants, who decided to put on the event locally.”

“One interesting part of YES Days is seeing students from the early years make a complete circle; they first participated as middle school students, then presented for their college majors, and now are back as full-time employees with area businesses and organizations,” said Moegling.

Dean Hirshci, WSCC physics professor and organizer of this year’s YES Days, talked about how well-planned the event was. “As a first time organizer, I was very happy that the team worked together so well and that we were able to accomplish so much,” said Hirschi.

“We had 33 presenters for YES Days this year and I would like to send my appreciation for those that took time out of their busy days to make presentations for the students,” said Hirschi. “I am also very grateful to those that made donations to make this event possible.”

Sponsors of this year’s YES Days were Washington State Community College, AEP Ohio, DuPont, Eramet Marietta, Farrar Scientific, Kemron, Kraton Polymers, Microbac, Ohio State University, Ohio University American Society of Civil Engineers, Plumbers and Pipefitter Local 168, Solvay Specialty Polymers, SOOGA, Stonebridge Operating Company, and Washington Electric Co-op.

Groups from 12 schools attended this year’s YES Days activities: Marietta City Schools, Warren Local Schools, Fort Frye Local Schools, Wolf Creek Local Schools, Belpre City Schools, St. John Central, Frontier Local Schools, St. Mary’s Elementary, Ohio Valley Educational Service Center, and Cornerstone Cooperative home school system.