High School Students to Visit UMass Amherst March 29 for Minority Engineering Program Career Day

AMHERST, Mass. - Interactive engineering displays will be the highlight of the first Minority Engineering Program (MEP) Career Day Wed., March 29, from 8:45 a.m. to 1 p.m. in the Campus Center Auditorium, University of Massachusetts. More than 150 local and regional high school minority students interested in engineering, plus their guidance counselors and teachers, are expected to attend.

"Our main goal is to try to affect the pipeline -- to get to students in grades nine through 12 and increase their awareness of engineering as a career choice," said Vanessa Rivera, assistant dean of student affairs for the College of Engineering. "One of the differences we have with minority students is that they don''t always participate in the correct math and science courses in high school that would put them in an academic track toward college. This is an opportunity to see other role models, some that came from the same high school that they''re attending." The MEP Career Day will also feature displays by local industry.

Students will have a chance to interact with industry representatives and UMass engineering faculty, alumni, and current UMass students. The high school students will also have some hands-on time with the displays and will be able to take pictures with the infrared camera. Students from more than 15 high schools will attend, including Amherst Regional, Springfield Central, Springfield Science and Technology, Holyoke, Cathedral, Commerce, Lincoln-Sudbury Regional, and South Boston high schools.

The event is sponsored by Raytheon Systems Company. A list of events follows:

* 8:45 a.m. to 9:45 a.m.: interactive engineering displays

* 9:50 a.m.: A brief talk, "Why Engineering?" by Joseph I. Goldstein, dean of the College of Engineering

* 10:10 a.m.: A panel of engineers, including three graduates from the UMass Minority Engineering Program, will talk about their experiences as engineers.

* 11:10 a.m.: Kathleen Rubin, the assistant dean for college outreach, will explain the courses high school students need to take to get ready to study engineering.
* 11:15 a.m.: A panel of UMass students in the Minority Engineering Program will give their perspectives on engineering and will answer questions.

* Noon to 1 p.m.: Interactive engineering displays and other UMass information will be available.