United Mechanical brings engineering skills to Joseph H. Messina Children’s Center

United Mechanical, Inc., a Child Care of Southwest Florida corporate partner, recently returned to the Joseph H. Messina Children’s Center to launch “Helping Our Mini Engineers (HOME),” a brand-new STEM initiative to develop an understanding and appreciation for mechanical, electrical and plumbing concepts among preschool students.

United Mechanical is a Fort Myers-based licensed contractor that provides heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) services. Its employees and their families first visited the early learning center in 2016 for a United Way Day of Caring to install a micro-drip irrigation system for 11 garden beds.

Based on that positive experience, the company returned to begin a project that could teach the children about plumbing, electrical and other related HVAC topics. United Mechanical Vice President Don Pine, a member of the board for Child Care of Southwest Florida, was instrumental in developing the HOME program.

On May 19, Service Business Manager Jill Moreland and Residential Service Assistant Corissa Colie presented some basic concepts that drove this project and provided each student with an AutoCAD drawing of an enclosed trailer. The HOME trailer was purchased by United Mechanical and will be outfitted with hands-on exhibits to teach students about engineering, weather, electricity and water.

In preparation for the next classroom visit in June, the Messina students, ages 4 to 6, were given the task of creating concepts to be included in the new HOME trailer and to lay out their ideas on the scaled drawing to familiarize them with construction drafting. Lesson plans on these topics were developed by the CCSWFL staff to assist the children with learning.

Moreland, a mechanical engineer, said, “It was a fascinating experience to witness the various learning styles of such young students. We can’t wait to unveil the HOME trailer and provide ongoing hands-on learning opportunities in the STEM field. Our industry is in desperate need of skilled technicians and I am honored that United Mechanical can play a role in exposing these children to the trades at such an early age.”

United Mechanical, Inc.

Founded in 1987, United Mechanical, Inc. is a full-service, state-licensed, mechanical contractor and industry leader. It offers HVAC and plumbing expertise in both new construction, as well as remodel/retrofit. The dedicated team handles all aspects of a project, from estimating, planning, scheduling, supervision and quality control, through service and maintenance. All employees are encouraged to keep up with the constant changes within the industry to better serve the needs of its clients. The company has LEED certified and professional engineers on staff to offer solutions. Learn more at umihvac.com.

Child Care of Southwest Florida, Inc.

Child Care of Southwest Florida, Inc. runs six early learning centers that have been accredited by the National Accrediting Council. It helps child care centers qualify for, administer and maintain USDA Child Care Food Programs to provide for the nutritional requirements of early childhood. To ensure the best possible care of children, it also provides DCF Introductory Child Care Training classes and competency exams to promote the continuing education of teachers and other educational professionals. Sponsorship, volunteer and donation opportunities are available to the public. For more information, visit ccswfl.org.