The Engineering Program utilizes three pipeline development opportunities annually to develop and strengthen the link between K-12 and the university. The primary goal of the opportunities is to provide Southwest Oklahoma middle school and high school students with an enrichment program which will excite their interest in engineering and mathematics and attract them to engineering and mathematics related careers as they matriculate into college and select college majors. It is imperative that high school students learn about the application of engineering and mathematics prior to entering college. It is equally important that students find ease and comfort on a college campus prior to their first day of class as a tradition freshman. The three opportunities are as follows. First, CU Engineering hosts a 1-week Engineering and Applied Mathematics Summer Academy for high school students. First year engineering students serve as counselors and leaders at this academy. Additionally, a junior counselor program has been developed where two to four previous academy attendees apply and are selected to serve as leaders for a subsequent academy. Students work in teams and use the engineering design process to research, design, test, and redesign their projects. Final projects include a design competition and PowerPoint presentation for students to reflect on their experience. Previous academy projects have been rockets including the safe landing of a quail egg, windmills to charge a cell phone, and portable water systems. Secondly, It’s MathE is a middle school enrichment program. This program bridges the gap from college to high school to middle school with the older students (first year engineering and high school students) functioning as leaders and mentors to the respective younger groups. This model allows middle school students to see options for their future, especially at a time when many students begin to become frustrated with math and fail to see its practical applications. The primary goal of the It’s MathE Middle School Enrichment Program will be to engage students and encourage them to work diligently in school, choosing to take all the mathematics they can as they move through middle school and high school. Finally, the Engineering Club hosts an annual Engineering Week Program. This is an opportunity to invite high school students to campus to participate in “fun” events while interacting with first year engineering students and faculty.
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