Two Montclair High School students are getting valuable hands on engineering experience during their month-long internship with the Township. In the process they’re learning that the position of Township Engineer is definitely not a desk job.
Seniors Spencer Haley and Tyler Baisden are working closely with Township Engineer Kimberli Craft monitoring stormwater outfalls and assisting with the Montclair SAFE (Streets Are For Everyone) initiative.
“I’m so pleased to have these aspiring engineers helping us and getting some early exposure to the working world and what engineers really do.” says Craft. “Their contributions are a real asset that will help us move both of these programs forward.”
Hailey and Baisden are taking part in the Montclair High School 12th Grade Career Internship Program (CIP) which gives students an opportunity to cultivate skills they will need in the working world such as communication, time management, team work and problem solving. The internship is unpaid and students are expected to volunteer a minimum of five hours per day, four days a week at the work site. Mentors are asked to engage the students in relevant tasks and provide opportunities for observing and shadowing.
Two days a week, the interns will be conducting visual inspections of stormwater outfalls.
“Outfalls are the places where the catch basins that collect stormwater from the streets discharge into the brooks around town,” said Craft. “Using a map of the storm sewer system, they will be walking along each of the brooks to look for ‘illicit discharges’ or basically anything coming out of these pipes when it is not raining – a very important task because by helping us eliminate these discharges they’re also helping us protect our waterways,” she said.
During the other two days of the week Hailey and Baisden will go to various locations around town to count the number of pedestrians and bicyclists for the Montclair SAFE program.
“This information will provide us a baseline to gauge our future efforts with infrastructure improvements to make bicycling in town a safer and more attractive alternative to motor vehicles,” said Craft.
The interns are formally evaluated mid-way and at the conclusion of the internship. This year’s program runs from May 20 through June 14.
Both Baisden and Haley plan to attend Penn State University in the fall — Haley intends to major in environmental engineering and Baisden in civil engineering.
“The internship program is a two-way street, so to speak,” said Craft. “They gain valuable experience and we have invaluable assistance from some very talented students.”