Stephen Jones, PhD, Associate Dean of Student and Strategic Programs, and Frank Hampton, PhD, assistant professor of Civil and Environmental Engineering, led Villanova University’s second annual NovaEDGE program this July. NovaEDGE—the Villanova Engineering Diversity Growth Experience—brought 30 ethnically diverse high school students to campus for an introduction to a variety of engineering disciplines. Classroom lectures, hands-on experiments, and living on campus were part of the weeklong experience.
Dr. Jones says: “The overall goal of the camp was to help students successfully understand all components of engineering: mechanical, civil, chemical, electrical and computer. Sustainability was another important aspect of the program.” Throughout the week, faculty worked with teams of students who were assigned to deliver discipline-specific engineering solutions to tackles issues of clean water and/or farm efficiency and production in Sub-Sahara Africa. On Friday morning, each team presented its solution to an audience of fellow students, parents and faculty.
In addition to lectures and labs, NovaEDGE provided participants with an overview of the college admissions process, advice and insight from a panel of current undergraduate and graduate engineering students, and a barbecue and talent show to close out the week’s activities.
NovaEDGE accomplished its goal of inspiring and exciting its diverse group of students to continue their engineering studies. Dr. Jones notes, “The program has an extraordinary way of sparking a light of enthusiasm for engineering while giving students a taste of the Villanova University community experience.”