Summit engineers presented at Sherwood Githens Middle School’s Career Day in Durham

March 26, 2015 at 4:05 PM

DURHAM, N.C. – Structural engineers from Summit Design and Engineering Services presented to over 80 eighth grade students at Sherwood Githens Middle School in Durham today for its first annual Career Day.

Chris Berg, PE, Summit’s Structural Engineering Branch Manager, and Jonathan Barnes, a structural engineer at Summit, explained to the students what engineering was and the classes to take to become an engineer. Berg and Barnes described structural engineering as well as all the types of engineers and architects that work at Summit.


After learning about engineering, the students were put to the test! Challenged with building a structure that could support one heavy textbook, groups of students were given 12 playing cards and tape. This activity taught them about weight distribution, structural soundness, surface area and teamwork. The record-holding card structure supported 17 textbooks! Multiple other card structures held over four textbooks.


This presentation and hands-on activity peaked students’ interests in pursuing a career in the architecture/engineering industry. Although, the architectural renderings shown in the presentation did spur a lot of confusion on whether or not architects actually design video games.

Tags: Architecture engineering Summit Summit Design and Engineering professional engineer structural structural engineering PE Summit Design and Engineering Services middle school Sherwood Githens Middle School Durham County Public Schools Chris Berg Career Day eighth grade presentation talk Jonathan Barnes activity hands on playing cards structure support
Category: Staff