On October 4, twelve students from Mrs. Locher’s Principles of Engineering class attended a field trip to Bigane Paving Company in Chicago. This fourth-generation family-owned business is run by Anne Bigane Wilson, the sister of our former principal, Meg Bigane. Anne is an award-winning Purdue University, College of Engineering graduate who has been running the business for over 30 years.
Mrs. Wilson began the visit with a tour of the quality control lab where testing of samples is completed on a daily basis. The visit continued with a complete tour of the asphalt manufacturing plant. The students were led through the manufacturing process from beginning to end. They learned about the different types of asphalt the facility manufactures, and about the complications involved in delivering asphalt to construction sites on time! Laying asphalt is a temperature and time-sensitive process, so weather and traffic delays must be taken into account to ensure asphalt arrives at the construction site in the precise condition.
After the field trip, some students commented: “It was inspiring because Mrs. Wilson is a female in a male-dominated field.” And “It was cool to see engineering in action!”