For more than 20 years, structural engineer Bob Johnson of Chicago has presented lectures on engineering to children and students in a host of outreach programs. Johnson’s lectures feature interactive displays and presentations that are fun and educational and designed to enhance children’s interest in math, science, and, of course, engineering.

These efforts caught the attention of Water Reclamation District Commissioner Frank Avila, who recently presented an award to Johnson for his efforts, “In recognition of exceptional Leadership in educating our children in K-12 in Engineering.” The award was presented by Commissioner Avila during taping of a television program (CAN-TV) with Johnson. The program aired on Chicago Cable TV in late June and will be available via the Internet.

According to Avila, Johnson’s structural engineering models and ‘toys’ provide an enriching hands-on practical application of structural engineering principles. His building and bridge models provide students and adults insight into their designs.