A LEAD-er in STEM Education Outreach, College of Engineering Hosts National LEAD Engineering Program

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Villanova’s College of Engineering partners with LEAD Engineering to increase underrepresented minority high school students’ exposure to engineering and other technical fields

VILLANOVA, Pa. – Villanova University’s College of Engineering will host some of the nation’s top high school students of diversity for a three-week education and development program (July 10-28) aimed at increasing underrepresented minority high school students’ exposure to engineering and other technical fields. As part of the national Leadership Education And Development (LEAD) Summer Engineering Institute, high-achieving high school sophomores and juniors from across the country will call the Villanova campus home for three weeks, during which time they will learn in interactive engineering classes, visit regional companies and hear from University faculty and industry experts.

The 2011 LEAD Summer Engineering Institute at Villanova focuses on entrepreneurship and engineering in the developing world.  During the three-week program, student teams will work with faculty advisers to develop a product focused on improving living conditions in developing countries. In addition to the engineering design and development of the product, they will also create business and marketing plans.

“Villanova’s College of Engineering is thrilled to be a regional partner with LEAD and host this national program that will bring engineering to life for these high school students,” says Dr. Stephen Jones, Associate Dean for Student and Strategic Programs, Villanova University College of Engineering. “Participants will not only learn how engineering and entrepreneurship can improve lives, but they will also experience it through the lens of Villanova Engineering – which blends technical excellence with liberal arts, leadership development, and the belief that engineering can advance the greater good.”

Approximately 30 high school students from across the country will arrive on the Villanova campus July 10 to take part in this selective national program. Instruction will be provided by College of Engineering faculty, with students in the College serving as mentors. The participants will also take several local field trips to sites including PECO, Boeing, Dow Chemical and the University City Science Center.

During LEAD Summer Engineering Institutes, students reside and attend classes on-campus for three weeks at three of the nation’s top engineering schools (Villanova, CalTech, and Georgia Tech). The program’s goals aim to raise students’ awareness about the various types of engineering majors, increase their understanding of careers that emphasize engineering and entrepreneurship, enable them to participate in engineering research and reinforce engineering as integral to the success of every society. Students will get the added benefit of experiencing what college education and life is like.

Villanova’s College of Engineering is a regional leader in STEM education outreach – a national endeavor that focuses on improving middle and high school students’ interest and abilities in science, technology, engineering, and math-related subjects. The College’s faculty and students have developed and executed STEM programs on a wide range of engineering topics, which have impacted hundreds of students from the greater Philadelphia area and the Mid-Atlantic region.

Leadership Education and Development (LEAD) was founded nearly 30 years ago as a national partnership of top U.S. corporations and graduate business schools encouraging talented students from diverse backgrounds to pursue careers in business. LEAD Engineering was launched in 2008 as a response to the high volume of LEAD Business applicants indicating an interest in the field of engineering. The program’s mission is to lay the foundation through an intense curriculum for an increase in the number and quality of diversified students interested in careers in engineering and other technical fields. To be considered students submitted an application to the LEAD program and were selected by the program’s directors. Click here for more information.

Villanova University, a co-educational Roman Catholic institution, was founded by the Order of Saint Augustine in 1842. A premier institution of higher education, Villanova provides a comprehensive education rooted in the liberal arts; a shared commitment to the Augustinian ideals of truth, unity and love; and a community dedicated to service to others. A wide variety of undergraduate and graduate degree programs are offered through the University’s four colleges: the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, the Villanova School of Business, the College of Engineering and the College of Nursing, as well as the Villanova School of Law. With a total enrollment that surpasses 10,000 undergraduate, graduate and law students, Villanova is the oldest and largest Catholic university in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania.