The LIRR Expansion Project team and Girls Inc. of Long Island hosted 27 curious, enthusiastic, young women from Westbury Middle School for an exciting day of learning and mentorship at the project’s Community Information Center in Mineola. Girls Inc. of Long Island is part of a national organization that provides school and community-based programming for young women in Nassau and Suffolk Counties.
The day began with project team members welcoming and introducing the students to the LIRR Expansion Project, providing an overview of the project and updates on current construction progress. The students were particularly excited when they learned about the ongoing construction of the Urban Avenue Grade Crossing Elimination, since many of them live in or near New Cassel. The students also enthusiastically remembered the Post Avenue Bridge Replacement, which was accomplished successfully in their community. After learning about the project, the students were given a tour of the Community Information Center: they snapped photos of the AModernLI wall, learned about the historic photos exhibit and touched sound wall samples in the Stations Aesthetics room.
Yelena Rayster, Performance Oversight Manager for the project, led the group in a “Structural Engineering 101” session and facilitated the Floating Rice Experiment, a hands-on demonstration to teach the basics of friction using only an empty water bottle, rice and a pencil. The water bottle was filled with rice, and students were tasked with picking up the water bottle using just the pencil.
After this fun experiment, nine LIRR and Expansion Project team professionals led small group mentoring sessions. These professionals have diverse and unique backgrounds, including engineering, government affairs, Positive Train Control, passenger services and other services vital to the LIRR – the small group setting enabled students to ask questions about education, career development and what the team members most enjoy about working on the railroad.
Girls Inc. of Long Island said of the event: “What a fantastic day we had with our Westbury girls on a field trip to the AModernLI and MTA-LIRR community center to learn about the LIRR expansion project! Girls heard from engineers from Design-Build Contractor 3rd Track Constructors (3TC) engaged in a structural engineering STEM activity and finished with an inspiring speed mentoring session with staff!” The LIRR Expansion Project team is grateful for the staff and volunteers from Girls Inc. of Long Island, the LIRR Government Affairs team, and 3rd Track Constructors for helping to facilitate this fun day.
For more information about the LIRR Expansion Project Floral Park to Hicksville, please visit the project page on AModernLI.com – http://www.amodernli.com/project/thirdtrack/.