The Washkewicz College of Engineering at CSU has received a $10,000 grant award from the Northeast Ohio Regional Sewer District (NEORSD) to support the College's Fenn Academy pre-engineering community outreach program. Fenn Academy is a consortium including the College of Engineering, 47 local high schools, industry and government partners designed to encourage middle and high school students to pursue post-secondary education and careers in engineering.
NEORSD was one of the Fenn Academy's original funding providers when the program began in 2005. In 2013/2014 additional funding came from Lincoln Electric, Lubrizol and Middough.
During the 2013-14 academic year, over 1,200 students from participating high schools took part in educational programming on and off campus, including free Engineering Activity Day events, the Engineer-For-A-Day job shadowing program, individual advising, lab tours, the VEX Robotics competition and Women in Engineering Day.
The Fenn Academy recently announced two new initiatives including a partnership with Cleveland's Orchard School of Science. Two Washkewicz College of Engineering students and one College of Education student are working at the school every Friday to help 5th - 8th grade students with STEM related projects. This new expansion to younger students is intended to create a pipeline of students from middle school through high school and into college and to help expand the number of minority students pursuing engineering degrees.
In addition, the Academy has reached out to its partner schools to provide funding to teachers for engineering projects and competitions. The new Small Grants Program will offer at least 3 grants up to $1,500 each for creative projects, supplies and equipment that will help stimulate interest in engineering among high school students.
Fenn Academy activities have had a profound impact on enrollment at the Washkewicz College of Engineering. Fall 2014 engineering enrollment of 1,952 is up 10% from last year, making engineering the fastest growing college at CSU. The College's enrollment over the past five years is up nearly 40% and the quality of students remains high, with the incoming freshman class averaging a 3.3 GPA. As well, the five year total enrollment of African-American and Latino students is up 69% and 50% respectively.
Over 500 high school students are scheduled to visit the College of Engineering through the first week of December, 2014, a record level of interest. Among other activities students will engage in while at CSU is the new NASA Science on a Sphere display on the first floor of the Michael Schwartz Library. The display is the result of a collaborative effort among staff from the library, the College of Engineering, NASA and the CSU architect's office, among others. Visiting students and current students will be able to view numerous educational programs using the 3 dimensional high-tech display, scheduled to be at CSU through mid-December.
For additional information and comments, please contact me at ext. 5272 or speak with the Fenn Academy's Director, Dr. Majid Rashidi by calling (216) 272-9069. Dr. Anette Karlsson, Dean of the Washkewicz College of Engineering, can be reached at (216) 687-2558.