Looking for summer engineering opportunity for high schooler

Discussion in 'Off-Topic' started by CyPlainsDrifter, Feb 23, 2014.

  1. CyPlainsDrifter

    CyPlainsDrifter Well-Known Member

    Jun 19, 2006
    We live in the Cedar Rapids area and I am looking for a summer engineering internship-type opportunity for my high schooler (senior to be). There are plenty of internships out there for college kids, but he is passionate and wants to get involved now to gain any experience he can. Good student (~4.10 gpa), NHS, student council, robotics team captain, serves on a couple of school advisory boards, etc..... primary interested in Mechanical Engineering at this time, but he is young and looking to gain any knowledge and insight he can to help guide his journey.

    If anyone knows of something in the CR area for a person under 18 in the engineering arena, please PM me and I will get back to you. Pay is not required -- he really wants the experience and would gladly work all summer for free if that's what it takes to get involved.
  2. wxman1

    wxman1 Well-Known Member

    Jul 2, 2008
    Cedar Rapids
    Tell him to talk to his school counselor. Kirkwood has a program for stuff like that. I did one at KCRG but there were numerous others at places like Rockwell.
  3. Cyclonin

    Cyclonin Well-Known Member

    Feb 18, 2012
    Dallas, TX
    Not sure if you have friends at Rockwell or Quaker, but I am sure someone there would take him under his wing. Maybe contact HR or as wxman said, his counselor. May be worth looking at ADM too.
  4. cloneluke80

    cloneluke80 Well-Known Member

    Apr 11, 2006
    West Des Moines, IA
    side rant - whoever allowed over 4.0 GPAs makes no sense.

    GPAs are near meaningless because so few even get less than a 3.0 in high school now..
  5. wxman1

    wxman1 Well-Known Member

    Jul 2, 2008
    Cedar Rapids
    It is all the AP classes. Nothing is worse than CR Wash and CR Kennedy both giving out a crap ton of valedictorian and salutatorian titles. They at least used to classify it as anyone above x gets valedictorian and anyone between y and x get salutatorian. Same thing as giving out a bunch of participatory trophies imo.
  6. Luth4Cy

    Luth4Cy Well-Known Member

    Sep 19, 2012
    Ames, IA
    I have friends who did a program at Rockwell a couple years ago in high school and enjoyed it. I also know Quaker has done stuff with high school students in the past.
  7. dirtyninety

    dirtyninety Active Member

    Oct 6, 2012
    One of the best things you could do would get him a gig working as a laborer on a construction crew. Not sure what the union shops allow these days. I don't think Ratje is union and may hire young laborers still. If he wants to be ME, a gig at Modern Piping or Bowker in the office (I think they are union shops and may not let young people work without all the hassle) doing estimating and other errands would be an eye-opener.
    On a similar track--a bike mechanic shop is a great place for young people to tinker and learn some real ME applications.
  8. carvers4math

    carvers4math Well-Known Member

    Mar 15, 2012
    I would go a different route and maybe suggest a community college course in a programming language like C++. Seems like the college engineering students are just expected to do homework in something like that or MATLAB without much or any instruction.
  9. ISUME

    ISUME Well-Known Member

    Mar 13, 2012
    He can remote connect to my username at work and take on any projects that look interesting. He won't be paid and I'll take credit for the projects he completes, but experience is experience.
  10. Primetime26

    Primetime26 Member

    Sep 7, 2012
  11. iahawkhunter

    iahawkhunter Well-Known Member

    I like the idea of getting introduced to programming, but taking a course can be dicey. Without a legitimate use for the tool, a student won't truly learn or understand it. Writing "hello world"-type programs only teaches students to regurgitate syntax, not learn how to problem solve. Unfortunately, finding a good use/need by-which to learn a programming language can be difficult.
  12. Warder60

    Warder60 Member

    Jun 2, 2006
    I went through this at that age -
    Kirkwood Community College - Workplace Learning Connection
    I think its what wxman1 is referencing.
    I worked/shadowed/interned at Rockwell and the whole process (application, interview panel, etc) I think turned out to be quite beneficial. Maybe 50/50 on finding a paid spot, or less, mine wasn't but the experience definitely helped. I got to see a lot of EE/CprE stuff, but I think the best part for me was they put me in their solder training course.
    YMMV as I think it depends on what you put in and some luck on the matchup you get.
  13. wxman1

    wxman1 Well-Known Member

    Jul 2, 2008
    Cedar Rapids
    That is exactly the place I was thinking of. I knew people that interned with WMT, Rockwell, other engineering places, non-profits and many others. From what I remember basically how it works is Kirkwood works with the companies and groups to get positions. Once they publish students can apply. If they get through the first hoop they are brought in for a group interview with other students that are not going for the same position (if I remember right there were 4 or 5 of us at a time) with interviewers from various places. The questions were very broad and in retrospect the whole process is set up and designed to be similar to a real job application process. After the interview they must have just given the company their stamp of approval and if said company accepted you got a letter with more info.

    It is not just go work. You had to put in so many hours through the summer, go through a booklet (essentially homework) that had questions to ask your mentor to help you get to know the job and what not. There were also group sessions you had to attend with the Kirkwood organizer to go through professional conduct, what you have learned, how does this all apply etc.

    It really can open up new doors. After that summer I stayed on as an intern at KCRG for several years and still stay in touch with those that are on the weather team there. I know of others that interned at Rockwell that stayed on or went back there as well. My "duties" ranged from helping prepare the weather stuff for the newspaper, news casts, internet, helping with severe weather coverage (my favorite) and other normal intern ***** work.

    What school does he go to?
  14. crawfy54

    crawfy54 Member

    Dec 28, 2006
    Ames, Iowa
    Maybe I'm being a ****. But at 18, he shouldn't have to rely on his dad to find him a job. Welcome to the real world son.
  15. bawbie

    bawbie Moderator
    Staff Member

    Mar 17, 2006
    Cedar Rapids, IA
    You had one thing correct in this post.

    Networking is the key to finding any job, and your parents count in your network.
  16. isutrevman

    isutrevman Well-Known Member

    Jan 30, 2007
    Ames, IA
    I was watching a college basketball game once and they listed a freshman players' high school GPA as a 4.6. In other words, they claimed he took more A.P. classes based on a 5.0 scale, than normal 4.0 high school classes, and aced all of them. Riiiiiiiiiiiiight.
  17. CtownCyclone

    CtownCyclone Well-Known Member

    Jan 20, 2010
    Project Engineer
    Maybe you should read the original post and try again.
  18. wxman1

    wxman1 Well-Known Member

    Jul 2, 2008
    Cedar Rapids
    Completely agree. My first real contact was a guy my dad knew back in the late 70's that until he retired last year was a VP of one of the most well known companies in my industry. He became my first real contact and invited me in to talk and give me a tour. You never know where the next door will open or opportunity will come from.
  19. MNCyGuy

    MNCyGuy Well-Known Member

    Jan 14, 2009
    Des Moines
    There's some truth here. My first internship I worked (it was summer after 1st year at college, but really not that different from your son) was an "engineering" internship with our local city engineer's office (was good friends with the city planner's son). It was interesting and I'm sure it looked good to have "engineering intern" on my resume.

    That being said, I ended up going into HVAC consulting after college and I often wished that I had pursued a different opportunity to work for a local air conditioning contractor, instead of taking the more prestigious seeming office internship. Maybe your kid is inclined to just tinker with mechanical things on his own, but I pretty much just got into engineering because I was good at match and science classes so it made the most sense as a career path. Getting more of that practical field working experience would have made my early career learning curve a lot less steep.
  20. Macadelic

    Macadelic Member

    Feb 23, 2014

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