Fulton Engineering Summer programs prep students for STEM careers
This year’s Summer Academy through Arizona State University’s Ira A. Fulton Schools of Engineering is full of programs that introduce students, from first grade through senior year of high school, to science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) projects and potential careers. Students can spend part of their summer participating in FIRST® LEGO League programs, exploring the universe through ASU science centers like the Mars Space Flight Facility, or spending a week in residence with high school students participating in the National Transportation Institute’s summer program learning how to develop transit systems ranging from aerospace to monorails.
“We know that a hands-on curriculum moves a child’s natural curiosity into a quest for further exploration,” says Hope Parker, Associate Director of ASU’s K-12 Engineering Education and Outreach program. “We are preparing students to meet the need for skilled professionals in a growing range of STEM careers.”
Engineering student Pranav Suresh found ASU’s summer programs when he was in 11th grade, “searching for a way to spend the summer,” he says. “The TA’s were very kind and helpful. The camp was a great kick-start into the field of computer science, which I am currently majoring in. I made some friends there that I’m still in contact with today.”
Some of the programs, like the National Summer Transport Institute, offer students who are considering engineering careers an opportunity to explore their options in depth. The Transport Institute is a weeklong, fully funded residential program (no student fees) offered to high school students interested in transportation careers ranging from aerospace to software design.
There also are a variety of FIRST® LEGO League (FLL) camps that introduce students, from first grade through middle school, to engineering concepts, real-world scientific issues, teamwork and design and testing processes.
Sonia Gutierrez first attended a robotics-based program offered by Fulton Engineering when she was entering the seventh grade, and attended two more summer programs afterward, including one focused on renewable energy.
“I am majoring in mechanical engineering with a minor in math — the robotics program greatly influenced me, says Gutierrez. “Due to the program, I knew I wanted to go into an engineering field since the end of seventh grade. The program gave me something to look forward to, and it was a great place to meet people that have the same interests who become life-long friends.”
Gutierrez recommends elementary and middle school students attend the ASU Summer programs because “they helped me decide what I wanted to be since I was young, and gave me goals to strive for in high school.”
“Engaging in engineering and design activities gives students the opportunity to see how they can shape the world while learning first-hand how engineering has shaped their world,” says Tirupalavanam Ganesh, assistant dean of engineering education at the Fulton Schools. “Out-of-school programs such as those offered in the Fulton Summer Academy may spark curiosity and foster interest and creativity thereby giving youth the means to envision a future full of possibilities.”
Visit Fulton Summer Academy 2016 for a full list of camps and registration information.
Terry Grant, [email protected]
Ira A. Fulton Schools of Engineering