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Program Provides Mentorship for Future Engineers

A program in conjunction with Villanova aims to help future black engineers.

The following is a press release from the Lower Merion School District.

The National Society of Black Engineers (NSBE) is one of the largest student-governed organizations in the country. Founded in 1975, NSBE now includes more than 394 college, pre-college, and NSBE Professional chapters in the United States and abroad. Their mission is to “increase the number of culturally responsible black engineers who excel academically, succeed professionally, and positively impact the community.”

During the 2013-2014 school year, students in the Villanova University Collegiate NSBE chapter are helping NSBE Jr. students at Lower Merion and Harriton gain exposure to the STEM fields while also providing insight in to options for their post-secondary education and beyond.

Villanova Chemical Engineering majors Britney Davis and Jahna Humphrey and Mechanical Engineering major Gus Jenkins recently spoke with students on a variety of topics including their own personal paths leading them to become engineering majors, experiences with summer internships, potential jobs and career paths following graduation, and more.

Students then broke up in to groups of four for a hands-on activity where they competed to build the tallest, freestanding structure using only spaghetti noodles (uncooked), tape, string, and one marshmallow. The teams had fifteen minutes to form a plan of action, brainstorm, and then attempt to build their towers, which had to be able to support the marshmallow at its peak. Some towers stood tall while others fell short – the tallest structure reached 19 inches – but most importantly, all the participants had fun and got a first-hand look at introductory concepts and thought processes involved in the engineering field.

The Villanova NSBE chapter will be hosting a NSBE Jr. kickoff event on Saturday, October 26thfrom 11:00 AM to 3:30 PM at Villanova University. During the kickoff event the NSBE Jr. students will engage in several hands-on activities that will introduce them to the STEM fields, hear from and interact with Villanova undergraduate students, professors, and an admissions counselor.


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