Archive for March, 2013

It’s Not Your Typical Spring Break!

Tuesday, March 12th, 2013

Ten members of the Michigan Tech chapter of the National Society of Black Engineers (NSBE) will spend their spring break in Detroit, working to inspire younger students to explore engineering as a career option. For eight of them, it’s a trip home, since they attended Detroit schools. The other two students are from Africa.

These engineering advocates will visit middle and high schools to talk about their experiences and to encourage students to check out the world of engineering. They’ll engage the classroom students in several Family Engineering actiities to hook their interest and keep them “listening” throughout their 50-minute classroom presentations.

“The goal is to show these kids that college is attainable by having them talk with students who share some of the experiences and have done it,” said Joan Chadde, education program coordinator for the Center for Science and Environmental Outreach at Michigan Tech.

Bt the Tech students will do much more than talk–they’ll engage families in hands-on activities at several Family Engineering Night events that they will conduct at some of the schools, as well as share inspiring personal experiences. Activities include “Mining for Chocolate,” “Brainsaver,” and “Launcher,” enabling the whole family to participate and get inspired by engineering.

“This is a great way to increase diversity on our campus, but more importantly, to have students who can relate to these kids and show them that a college education and career in STEM is possible for them,” said Chadde.


Family Engineering Activities Take Center Stage at Engineering Exploration Day

Monday, March 4th, 2013

Forty middle and high school girls and their parents attended Michigan Tech’s first Parent-Daughter Engineering Exploration Day on February 23. A dozen young women engineering students from the Society of Women Engineers (SWE) and the Society of Hispanic Professional Engineers (SHPE) shared their experiences and enthusiasm for their chosen career path and led the group through a variety of fun, hands-on Family Engineering activities. The activities demonstrated how engineering is used to create prosthetic limbs, provide safety equipment, and design ways to improve our quality of life.

Kay LaFond, an environmental engineering graduate student, explained, “We want to reach out to girls when they are starting to think about what they want to do. Engineering is about creativity and making a difference.”

“There are lots of jobs in engineering,” observed Jen Fuller, who is pursuing a PhD in environmental engineering. “Many companies are looking for women engineers to diversity their workforce. In addition, an engineering degree is versatile. It prepares you for jobs in many related fields, such as marketing, research, sales, etc.”

The event was organized by the Michigan Tech Center for Science  & Environmental Outreach and funded by the College of Engineering, Department of Engineering Fundamentals, and Michigan Economic Development Corporation.