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Positioning high school students for engineering careers

Alisa Warren, director of the MU Access in Engineering program that sponsors the MITE summer institute, prepares a team pack for this week’s activities. Photo by Marty Walker

Scores of Missouri high school students will learn about innovative engineering this month as they ponder who “Thomas” married.

Armed with global positioning system (GPS) units, College of Engineering Summer Camp participants will seek to use location coordinates to answer that and other questions during a GPS scavenger hunt on campus. It’s one of several practical challenges the campers will face as they explore engineering and its applications.

“We want students to ‘do’ engineering, as well as learn about it through more traditional lessons,” said Christa Weisbrook, the engineering college’s assistant dean for academic programs and organizer of the camp.

Hands–on engineering is the focus of a trio of summer camps that the CoE is holding this month to introduce high school students to the profession and its disciplines.

Two Engineering Summer Camps, which typically include about 40 students from across the state, are scheduled for July 9—14 and July 16—21. Each junior or senior high school student pays a $300 fee to explore engineering for the week while living on campus.

Mizzou’s Minority Introduction to Engineering (MITE) program also will include 40 students living on campus July 9—14 as they learn about engineering. The free summer institute aims to interest minority high school students from across the country in the field.

Increasing interest in the program has sparked plans for an additional camp next year, said Alisa Warren, director of the MU Access in Engineering program that sponsors MITE.

“We’ve got youths from throughout the United States asking about MITE,” Warren said. “There’s no better way to recruit for the CoE than by showing students what they can do with engineering.”

Which includes using GPS technology to find the “Thomas and Nell Lafferre Hall” sign outside Mizzou’s main engineering building.

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