UMBC students explain what environmental engineers do in video for international competition

UMBC environmental engineering students have created a YouTube video to help middle and high school students and the broader public understand the kinds of work environmental engineers do and the impacts their work has on the world. They developed the video as part of a national competition hosted by the Association of Environmental Engineering and Science Professors (AEESP) with the theme “Environmental Engineers Protect Public and Ecological Health.”

UMBC students Helena Gaifem ‘16, Ph.D., chemical and biochemical engineering; Nick Rogers ‘15, environmental engineering; Utsav Shashvatt ‘19, Ph.D., environmental engineering; and Kiranmayi Mangalgiri ‘16, Ph.D., environmental engineering, approached Lee Blaney, assistant professor of chemical, biochemical and environmental engineering (CBEE), to express interest in entering the AEESP contest. Gaifem illustrated the drawings in the video and Shashvatt photographed the images and edited them before sending them to Mangalgiri, who put the video together using VideoScribe. After the visuals were completed, Rogers added narration. Environmental engineering majors Hollie Adejumo ‘16, Savannah Steinly ‘18, and Hannah Aris ‘18, also contributed to the video.

The discipline of environmental engineering is fairly new and AEESP members have been concerned it is not yet well understood by the general public, Blaney notes, in explaining the origins of the competition. “Hopefully, more efforts like this one will increase knowledge and understanding of the field,” says Blaney. He emphasizes that another major goal of the competition is to “increase outreach to younger students (K-12) and build interest in the major.”  

Competition finalists and winners will be announced on January 29, 2016, with the winning teams receiving cash prizes.

*Update (2/10/2016): The AEESP announced that the UMBC team’s video “What do Environmental Engineers do?” was awarded first place in the competition. The team will receive a $1000 cash prize.

Image taken from YouTube video.