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The acclaimed giant-screen documentary Dream Big: Engineering Our World has inspired and delighted audiences in museums around the world. Now, ASCE with generous support from the United Engineering Foundation (UEF) has set an ambitious goal: to put a copy of the Dream Big film and educational toolkit in every public school in America. To reach every school, we need your help! Give $5 to send a school a toolkit containing: A DVD of the full-length feature film; Teacher’s guide; Companion videos; Downloadable files for classroom use. ASCE has pledged a 1-to-1 match of all donations made by Sections and Branches before April 15 for middle school educational kits. Any amount that you pledge will go twice as far with the match from ASCE headquarters. NCS will designate all funds go only to local schools, thus ensuring your donation is super-charged, i.e. it gets doubled, it goes to your local schools, and it amplifies our efforts to increase the quality of engineering education in our K-12 schools and inspire future generations of civil engineers!

Stephen Powers, ASCE-National Capital Section (NCS) representative and the Nation’s Capital Boundary Stones Committee co-chair recounted the history of Andrew Ellicott’s original boundary lines survey and the current preservation effort for the 40 stones that continue to mark those lines today. What are boundary stones? After President George Washington chose the Potomac River region as the site for the new national capital in 1790, surveyors (most notably Andrew Ellicott) laid out 40 sandstone markers to mark the territory by placing a boundary stone every mile. The stones have four sides – facing inward towards DC (which read “Jurisdiction of the United States” and a mile number), facing outward (which show the name of the bordering state, either Maryland or Virginia), and two faces parallel to the boundary line (showing the year the stone was placed and the compass variance at that point).

The stones are the oldest federal monuments in the country and are listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Many of the forty stones remain in their original places. Due to development in the area, the stones now stand in such places as a church parking lot, a road’s median, and at the bottom of a pipe at the Blue Plains Impoundment Lot. Because of development pressures, many of the stones have been moved to locations that are more convenient – view this map of actual vs. theoretical locations. The NCS has been involved in the preservation effort since the late 1970s and revitalized interest in the stones with our biannual fence restoration projects held between 2010 and 2012. The NCS leads a. In 2014 and 2015, Daughters of the American Revolution, who originally erected the fences around the stones, renewed its boundary stone preservation efforts.

Stephen grew up in Springfield, VA, and is the son of an Army Colonel. He attended Thomas Jefferson High School, and obtained a B.S. in Civil Engineering from Virginia Institute of Technology. Stephen currently works for the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority on rehabilitation projects at the nine rail yards that service Metrorail car maintenance. Stephen previously served as a member of the NCS Board of Directors and is currently co-chair of the Nation’s Capital Boundary Stones Committee. His 10 years working with the boundary stones grew from his daughter’s elementary school project on Arlington County trivia and a lifelong interest in Washington, DC history.

What is ASCE-NCS?

Welcome to the website of the National Capital Section of the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE), a professional society for civil engineers.  ASCE was founded in 1852, represents 130,000 members of the civil engineering professional worldwide, and is America's oldest national engineering society.

The National Capital Section was founded in 1916 and currently has more than 3,100 members.  The section is located in Region 2 (link to region 2: The National Capital Section serves the District of Columbia; the counties of Montgomery and Prince Georges in Maryland, except College Park in Prince Georges County; the counties of Fairfax and Arlington, and City of Alexandria in Virginia. The National Capital Section's mission includes:

  • To advance the professional knowledge and improve the practice of civil engineering for our members and those we serve.
  • To advocate for our profession with those whose actions affect us, and to educate those whose actions and responsibilities could benefit from a better understanding of the contributions of civil engineers.
  • To improve our community through effective community outreach programs, local involvement and educational efforts.

Civil Engineers in Cinema

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