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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat


Engineering course offers high schoolers a look at college

The UA has partnered with high schools around the state to offer an introductory engineering course that provides 11th and 12th graders a look into the field and the opportunity to receive college credits.

Engineering 102 HS, which was first piloted in 2008, is a course designed to demonstrate how engineers use math and science to assist professionals in a variety of global, economic, environmental and cultural settings, according to the UA College of Engineering.

“It’s a pretty novel concept and it’s unique because it works,” said J. Jill Rogers, College of Engineering student projects coordinator.

The course consists of projects that are chosen by the students and teachers from a list of projects provided by the College of Engineering, partnering instructors said. Teachers from participating high schools attend workshops in the summer where they are introduced to different projects that previous teachers have developed over the school year.

“It’s more of a survey course that allows students to determine if engineering is right for them and become aware what engineering is and what its going to involve including different careers that engineering offers,” said Mark Calhoun, engineering 102 teacher at Sabino High School.

“It’s in hopes to steer students either towards it or away from it once they’re educated in terms of what engineering is all about,” Calhoun said. “Students who never thought engineering was for them found out throughout the year that engineering is exactly what they want to do.”

In addition to hands-on projects and design, each class is given the opportunity to visit the UA campus during the academic school year. The students get a private tour of the university’s engineering labs and facilities.

“It gives [high school students] an idea, a window into what university curriculum might look like,” Rogers said.

Tour activities, which are largely run by UA ambassadors, include trips to the Steward Observatory Mirror Laboratory and the Civil Engineering building, and hands-on activities in the courtyard at the College of Engineering, Rogers said. Students also spend the night in the dorms and go to class in the morning with the college students.

“High school students are looking for ways to make their resume more appealing for college admissions, so courses like this are attractive to high school students for that reason and also add university credit,” Rogers said.

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