OGDEN, Utah – Several Weber State University students are spending time encouraging local junior high students to prepare for careers in engineering, science and technology.
Two WSU student groups — the Society of Women Engineers and Science, Technology, Engineering Programs (STEP) — worked with Mount Ogden Junior High to organize an eight-week seminar after school on Wednesdays in January and February. The seminars are for junior high students involved in the Utah Scholars program.
"Every week we have students who go and present for one hour on a different Weber State engineering or technology program," said Jasmine Harris, a manufacturing engineering student and president of the Society of Women Engineers at WSU.
The weekly seminars include presentations on computer science, manufacturing engineering technology, design graphics engineering technology, electrical engineering technology, computer engineering technology and physics. The final session is scheduled for Feb. 24 and will feature a field trip to WSU where the junior high students will have the opportunity to tour facilities and build a project incorporating ideas from the presentations.
Harris was excited to participate in the program. "I want people to get into engineering," she said. "When I was little, nobody came and told us about it. It wasn't until later that I found out it was pretty cool."
The seminars are part of the Mentors for Utah Scholars partnership between WSU and Mount Ogden Junior High School. "The program places Weber State students as mentors to the junior high students who are pursuing the Utah Scholars college preparatory curriculum," said Alisha Massen, an AmeriCorps Volunteer in Service to America (VISTA) for WSU's Community Involvement Center.
WSU started providing mentors to Utah Scholars students at Mount Ogden Junior High in 2008. The Utah Scholars curriculum consists of more rigorous classes in subjects such as math, English and science, for students in ninth to 12th grades.
"The goal of Mentors for Utah Scholars is to ensure that youth are better prepared for post-secondary education," Massen said. "Utah Scholars is a voluntary college preparatory curriculum that junior high students can opt to take, so we want to support and mentor those students as much as possible."
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