E-Week Helps Students 'See the Engineer' Within Themselves

February 2010 By

OXFORD, Miss. - Engineering students at the University of Mississippi are using the creative side of their brains to increase enrollment.

National Engineers Week, known on campus as "E-Week," is set for next week (Feb. 14-19). The annual series of daily campus activities is aimed at creating an awareness of engineering throughout the community and introducing the degree and profession to middle and high school students in Mississippi and to Ole Miss students who are undecided about a major.

"Across the country, engineering enrollment is way down," said Lyndsey Freeny of Vicksburg, Engineering Student Body president. "This is our creative effort to get it revved up again."

Engineering Day on Feb. 26 is the culmination of the monthlong observance. Co-sponsored by the School of Engineering, the Division of Outreach and Continuing Education, and the Center for Mathematics and Science Education, the event brings more than 150 high school students from across Mississippi, Tennessee and Alabama for a full day of interacting with engineering students, taking individual and team math, science and engineering tests, and participating in a water tower model-earthquake simulation competition.

Scheduled events include:
Feb. 15 - The Association for Computing Machinery and the Institute of Electrical and Electronic Engineers are sponsoring the ESB luncheon and competitions.
Feb. 16 - The American Institute of Chemical Engineers is providing lunch for engineering students, and the American Society of Mechanical Engineers sponsors a paper airplane competition.
Feb. 17 - The American Society of Civil Engineers and the Geology Club are providing lunch and organizing a scavenger hunt for engineering students.
Feb. 18 - The Engineering Career Fair brings industry professionals to Carrier Hall for interviews with engineering students seeking internships, co-op positions, and employment opportunities. The Society of Women Engineers hosts the Mr. Engineer 2010 Competition at 7 p.m. in Anderson Auditorium. Admission is free.
Feb. 20 - Engineering faculty, staff and students facilitate the annual North Mississippi Region MathCounts for middle school students.
Feb. 22 - The American Society for Civil Engineers is hosting the North Mississippi ASCE meeting at the Inn at Ole Miss starting at 6:30 p.m. It features a four-speaker panel, New Orleans-style buffet and a raffle for a signed football and basketball. Admission is $5 for students.
Feb. 26 - The Society of Women Engineers is hosting its annual Introduce a Girl to Engineering Day for high school girls.

Marni Kendricks, assistant to the dean, and the UM Career Center are coordinating the Career Fair. Maxine Woolsey, educational outreach specialist, and April Kilpatrick, CMSE outreach specialist, are coordinating the middle and high school competitions.

"The engineering students that help facilitate the competitions are true ambassadors for the school," Woolsey said. "They grade tests, judge projects and interact with the secondary school students and teachers."

"Through outreaches such as E-Week, MathCounts and Engineering Day, we anticipate increasing the School of Engineering's enrollment year by year," Kendricks said. "We want to introduce engineering as a degree and a career to more Mississippi secondary school students serious about their futures. We want to expose more students to this amazing field."

For more information about the School of Engineering, call 662-915-5780 or visit engineering.olemiss.edu.