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Civil What? New content at helps kids open floodgate to deeper exploration of civil engineering


Media Contact(s):
Jim Jennings 703-295-6406/540-272-1452 cell/

Monday, May 07, 2012



 RESTON, VA --How can earth hold back a mighty river? Where does the water go when workers are building a dam? How much concrete was used to build the Grand Coulee Dam?, the fun, online village that teaches kids about civil engineering, just added new content about building dams, bridges and other amazing structures to help kids understand how civil engineers use math, science and ingenuity to overcome the forces of nature and the laws of physics.   


Originally launched in 2009, ASCEville is part of ASCE’s on-going educational outreach program.  The website acquaints kids in grades 3 – 7 with civil engineering through engaging graphics, interactive activities and interesting profiles about engineers and the projects they work on.  Its fresh approach highlights the history of civil engineering, its many disciplines, and offers suggestions about what kids can do to prepare for this career pathway.  Parents, teachers and engineers will also want to explore the site to browse its educational content and a variety of resources that will help them engage kids in conversations about civil engineering. 


The new content in the site’s Civil What? section was added in response to requests from kids and teachers. Kids familiar with wanted to learn more about how engineers choose materials or select the right design. They also expressed interest in facts about some of civil engineers’ most noteworthy achievements. Teachers wanted deeper content that could be used for classroom research, and a resource to help students better understand the relationship between technology and society throughout history. 


Through exploration of dams, bridges, roads and transportation, water systems, sustainability and disaster response, kids will come away with a broader understanding of how civil engineers help find technological solutions to overcome many of the world’s most interesting challenges. 

In’s section about Dams (, for example, kids learn that dams make modern life possible. They also learn about different types of dam structures, what materials are used to make dams and how engineers overcome forces of nature to build dams, protect people and harness the power of water. They also examine the impact of dams on ecosystems.  


Kids also learn about maintaining healthy water supply, conserving energy and preserving scarce resources by playing’s sustainability game, featured on the home page of the site (  By searching for 20 sustainable features embedded in the homepage illustration, they see how technology is used to protect the environment and make local communities better places to live and work.   



Founded in 1852, the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) represents more than 140,000 civil engineers worldwide and is America’s oldest national engineering society.  For more information visit