Creekside High Engineering Club Preparing Future Industry Leaders; Cultivating a Culture of Service

ST. AUGUSTINE- Kevin Davenport and the Creekside High Engineering Club are regular volunteers with the St. Johns Housing Partnership (SJHP). Building ramps and helping rehab homes for the elderly, Veterans and disabled is just part of their story.

“Kevin is one of our biggest supporters. He has responded when a call goes out to help us fulfill our mission. He organizes and brings the Engineering Club members out in force to really make a difference in our community,” noted SJHP Executive Director Bill Lazar.

Davenport has been organizing volunteer teams of students wearing shirts that say “Live Generously” to work on SJHP projects for 14 years. “

“The volunteer experience not only offers students firsthand experience, but also instills a culture of service that stays with many of them throughout their personal and professional lives,” noted Davenport, a teacher at Creekside in the Engineering and Environmental Science Academy.

He is the sponsor of the Engineering Club. He also works after school with the ACE mentoring program, FIRST Robotics Team 8775, National Technical Honor Society, Interact Club, and Society of Women in Engineering.

“Volunteering on these projects is rewarding. Many students get a taste of construction management, trade skills and learn teamwork,” added Davenport. “This can start many on a career path and buoys their interest in engineering and construction.”

Two of Davenport’s former students at Creekside, Dylan Scanlon, and Gavin Glocke, are enjoying success in their chosen fields.

Scanlon said he always knew he wanted to be in design or engineering. He was in one of Creekside’s first graduating classes. Davenport became his instructor in his junior year.

“The program was more centered on civil engineering in those days. We learned AutoCAD. I was able to get an internship with Matthews DCCM Design Group between my junior and senior years,” remembers Scanlon.

He went to work for Mathews after graduation. The firm collaborated with him on achieving his educational goals. He attended Florida State College at Jacksonville and the University of North Florida where he received his Civil Engineering degree.

Scanlon stayed connected with Davenport, looking for ways he could help and give back. He volunteers with the Ace Mentor program at Creekside and Pedro Menendez High School.

A project engineer at Mathews, Scanlon works on projects ranging from stormwater, roadway improvements and other commercial, residential and hospitality designs.

Matthews DCCM congratulated him on 10 years of service. And an unwavering commitment to precision and diligence that has impacted the company’s processes. Noting he harbors a profound passion for nurturing future engineers and is a co-founder of the Florida Civil Educators Foundation, dedicated to preparing STEM students for successful careers.

“My time and experience at Creekside prepared me for where I am today. The Academy gave me a basic knowledge of civil engineering,” he said.

Glocke is in his last semester at UCF in Orlando, graduating next month. He chose UCF because of his interest in the aerospace industry.

“I have always had an interest in math and science and felt engineering was the way to go. I joined the Academy in my first year. That is when I heard about the Engineering Club,” Glocke said.

He was part of most of the ramp projects the club built for the St. Johns Housing Partnership during his four years at Creekside.

“Ramp projects allow you to go through an entire building process including removing old ramps. Building ramps for people with disabilities and the elderly gave us experience in cutting the wood, digging the post holes, and making sure making sure the construction was level and sturdy.

Glocke said he also enjoyed being part of Project Innovation while in high school. Teams would brainstorm innovative ideas turning them into a project and making a presentation. Valuable experience included team building and problem solving.

He points to Davenport’s emphasis on professionalism, mentoring through the ACE program, understanding the concepts of design software, and stressing the importance of resume writing as helping shape his future success.

At UCF he is working with fellow students on a model rocket launch system that brings the rocket back to the launch area seeking to help solve one of the space industries industry problems on reusable parts.

A summer internship as a systems engineer with Northrop Grumman in Utah paved the way to a full-time job with the company after graduation. Glocke looks back at Creekside as the start of something good.

Engineering Academy students dive into a rich curriculum that exposes them to several branches of the field including Civil, Mechanical and Environmental engineering, as well as manufacturing, and robotics.

Academy students can earn top recognized certifications like Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) and Manufacturing Skill Standards Council (MSSC), AutoCAD, Revit, Inventor, and SolidWorks.