San José: Leading the Way for Tomorrow's Humanitarian Engineers
At San José State, mentoring and service are at the core of student success. Engineering students enrolled in Community Action and Service (ENGR 157), an engineering service-learning course led by Dr. Stacy Gleixner, volunteer a minimum of 48 community service hours at one of six local high schools through Project Lead the Way. Project Lead the Way is a nationally recognized initiative that has incorporated STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math) education in the middle and high school curricula at more than 4,000 schools across the country.
San José State University serves as the Silicon Valley regional center for Project Lead the Way providing project-based learning activities to hundreds of middle and high school students through Dr. Gleixner's service-learning course. While supporting the high schoolers with their class projects, many SJSU students also find themselves becoming mentors, helping the youth explore their interests and potential career paths. In the process, the college students hone their engineering knowledge and skills. At San José High School, third year electrical engineering major Jonathan Garay serves in an introductory engineering course of 24 students where he helps seniors complete their final semester projects, operate machinery after preparation from their instructor, and engage in career planning activities. "When I signed up for ENGR 157, I had no idea what I was getting into," Garay said. "I just wanted to satisfy my degree requirement and move on with my life. However, now I'm a firm believer in service learning and its power to create the extra motivation to do well academically - and to make community engagement more meaningful."
As a general education (GE) course, ENGR 157 serves another purpose - providing San José State students with the professional skills that employers seek: ability to think critically, work in teams, use technology, manage projects, and communicate with diverse groups. According to Dr. Gleixner, "the reflections that are part of the GE course help [students] begin to analyze themselves and their strengths. They discover what leadership skills they possess, and how they can use their skills to make an impact on society. Students also get a better understanding of the challenges facing U.S. public education that will make them better advocates for change as they go out into the engineering workforce."
involving early interest in engineering and math:
CSU Fullerton's project Mathematics Intensive Summer Session (MISS), now in its 23rd summer, is a voluntary four-week summer program, designed to help underrepresented high school girls succeed in college preparatory mathematics at the Algebra II level and above.
The Accelerated Coursework in Computer Science and Engineering for Student Success (ACCESS) program provides high school students with the opportunity to interact with both CSU Northridge faculty and current CSU Northridge engineering and computer science students who serve as mentors.
Following Reading, wRiting, and aRithmetic, Robotics is gaining steam as the fourth "R" in education. Dr. Jawa Mariappan's School Robotics class offers engineering students and faculty the opportunity to visit local K-12 schools to train schoolteachers and mentor students in robotics through a variety of weekly hands-on activities.
At San José State, mentoring and service are at the core of student success. Engineering students enrolled in Community Action and Service, an engineering service-learning course led by Dr. Stacy Gleixner, volunteer at one of six local high schools through Project Lead the Way.
CSU Stanislaus students are helping elementary school children and their parents become math literate in their local shopping mall. By offering math homework help and enticing elementary students and their parents to play math board games and puzzles twice a week in the afternoons, Dr. Viji Sundar and her undergraduate students who are Math/Liberal Studies majors have been increasing math literacy in their community.