Beth Duyvejonck, Opus Foundation Support STEM Program


​Recently, Beth Duyvejonck, Director of Project Management, has been giving back by sharing some of her engineering expertise.

Beth has been volunteering with the University of St. Thomas' Science, Technology & Engineering Preview Summer (STEPS) program, which offers “an introduction to the exciting world of science, technology and engineering" at no charge for girls entering 6th to 8th grade. The University has been hosting the program since 2000. It was created based on National Science Foundation research that revealed that junior high girls are vulnerable to making the best decisions for their high school curriculum that will set them up to succeed in engineering programs in college. 

In addition to giving a short talk about her own experience in engineering and construction, Beth volunteered during a buoyancy challenge. The girls were building boats made from recycled materials and were able to tap Beth's knowledge base as they planned, designed and built their boats. 

“Girls, especially girls of color, are still very underrepresented in the STEM fields," Beth said. “I was drawn to STEPS because it is a no-cost program that attracts a diverse population of rising 6th and 8th grade girls. The program is sponsored by the School of Engineering at the University of St. Thomas, where Opus has a strong relationship through our design-build projects on campus."

And with Beth's involvement and alignment with the focus areas of the Opus Foundation®, they were awarded a $5,000 Opportunity Fund grant.