June 14, 2009
June 14, 2009
June 17, 2009
14.650.1 - 14.650.12
Go For Aerospace!: Recruiting and Mentoring the Next Generation of Aerospace Engineers
Recruitment for engineering programs is a real challenge for universities nationwide. To address this problem, Central Connecticut State University (CCSU) has received funding from NASA to conduct an innovative, year-long extracurricular program designed to reach out to high school juniors with high potential in math and science and excite them about careers in aerospace engineering. This new program, “Go For Aerospace!,” will provide mentoring and support to these students and encourage them to pursue a degree in engineering. CCSU, with its exceptionally well-qualified engineering faculty, its central location, and its close linkages with local industries and secondary schools throughout Connecticut is ideally suited to launch this effort. The selection process is an extremely important part of the project and is conducted through nomination by math and science teachers in five high-need school districts throughout Connecticut. Based on their recommendations, 30 high-achieving high school juniors are participating this year.
Last fall, a kick-off dinner was held on campus which included a keynote lecture from Captain Daniel C. Burbank, a Coast Guard Aviator and NASA Astronaut. Also in attendance at the kick- off were CCSU’s President, Provost and special guests from industry and public education, as well as many of the students’ nominating teachers and parents. During the spring semester, students are participating in four full-day field trips, during which they are working with university faculty and students on projects related to mechanical and aerospace engineering, and visiting industrial aerospace facilities to tour research and manufacturing labs and speak with practicing engineers. Another important aspect of these trips is the personal contact that the high school students are having with faculty and undergraduate engineering students throughout the day. The culminating event of the program will be the summer institute where students will spend three days on campus participating in varied activities, such as special seminars and workshops designed to familiarize them with campus life and the college application process. Students will then travel to NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center in Maryland for a five-day visit during which they will learn about state-of-the-art engineering. This experience is intended to inspire students’ imagination, ignite their fascination with challenging engineering projects and ultimately develop their genuine interest in engineering careers. A tour of the Smithsonian Institution's National Air and Space Museum in Washington, D.C., will be included as well.
This project is distinctive not only because the aerospace specialization in mechanical engineering at CCSU is unique in Connecticut but also because it outlines a comprehensive plan
Dischino, M., & Al-Masoud, N., & Baumann, P., & Kremens, Z., & Naoumov, V. (2009, June), Go For Aerospace! Recruiting And Mentoring The Next Generation Of Aerospace Engineers Paper presented at 2009 Annual Conference & Exposition, Austin, Texas. 10.18260/1-2--5543
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