MU launches Engineering Summer Institute for high school scholars

MU launches Engineering Summer Institute for high school scholars


Marymount University’s Engineering program within the College of Sciences and Humanities, in collaboration with Booz Allen Hamilton and the National Science Foundation (NSF), created a new and immersive Summer Institute in Engineering that debuted this month. Over a two-week period, high school scholars from underrepresented backgrounds participate in hands-on learning, with expert faculty providing them with the proper tools as well as the analytical and technical skills to succeed as future engineering professionals.

This year, Marymount was awarded a $200,000 NSF grant to improve undergraduate STEM education through measures that include Project DREAM (Diversity Recruited into Engineering through Advanced Making). Marymount also received a $25,000 gift from Booz Allen Hamilton in support of scholarships for Summer Institute students.

“These contributions made it possible to create a summer program which brings students to campus and lets them learn maker skills in engineering,” said Dr. Eric Bubar, Professor of Engineering at Marymount University. “This also gives students — who may not have worked with or had easy access to these technologies before — a chance to immerse themselves in these tools and discover what’s possible.”

MU launches Engineering Summer Institute for high school scholars
Dr. Eric Bubar, Professor of Engineering at Marymount University


The inaugural Summer Institute in Engineering at Marymount enrolled 12 rising high school juniors and seniors who, with the guidance of Dr. Bubar, Assistant Professor of Engineering Dr. Shama Iyer and adjunct engineering instructor Dr. Sara Pourjafar, are diving deeper into and exploring all aspects of engineering. Not every student in this group considers themselves ‘engineering-inclined,’ as the cohort includes those who wish to major in business, fashion, nursing, sports management and other fields.

Over just two short weeks, the students earn three college credits and are exposed to a wide variety of topics within engineering. These include designing and printing their own 3D models, electronics and circuitry, robotics and programming, specifically for creating immersive virtual reality experiences.

“You can see by the energy level and the conversations going on that Eric has created an immersive environment, and that is exactly what I envisioned when we started,” said Dr. Louis Frisenda, Assistant Vice President of Enrollment Initiatives at Marymount University.

Looking forward, Marymount’s Engineering program aims to continue this Summer Institute offering well into the future, maintain and build upon its relationship with the District of Columbia Public Schools (DCPS) system and increase awareness of Marymount’s unique position and ability to train the next generation of engineers through this new approach.

MU launches Engineering Summer Institute for high school scholars

“We plan to continue this kind of program in the future,” Dr. Frisenda added. “Right now, we are just thrilled with how this all came together.”

The Summer Institute in Engineering continues until July 21. To learn more, click here.