Engineering is about building bridges in more ways than one.
Over the summer, Temple Engineering and its STEM programs team welcomed a number of Philadelphia youth to campus to engage in engineering enrichment programs. From the Women's Engineering Exploration (WE2) program to robotics camp and others, students got hands-on experience across engineering disciplines.
Civil and Environmental Engineering Assistant Professor Rouzbeh Tehrani hosted campers from the East Poplar Recreation Center, located just blocks from campus, for a one-day workshop on water quality. He was familiar with the campers from earlier projects where Temple Engineering senior design teams worked to restore an urban farm located next to the recreation center.
"I visited them previously and we did some experiments at the center, but what they really wanted to do was visit Temple," Dr. Tehrani said. "When they came to Temple, we talked about watershed awareness and did some experiments on filtration, where they were able to remove contaminants, they got to measure pH levels in various liquids, and really learn in a hands-on way."
Temple Engineering also hosted female high school students for the annual Women's Engineering Exploration (WE2) summer camp. During the week long session, 25 young women spent their days learning about science and problem solving, engaging with faculty in bioengineering, civil and environmental, electrical and computer, and mechanical engineering.
In addition, as part of an ongoing NASA and Pennsylvania Space Grant award, Associate Professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering, Dr. John Helferty again managed the popular summer robotics camp, where high school students learned how to design and build programmable mobile robots, and then compete in maze mapping competitions with other high school students in the Delaware Valley.
Combined, the initiatives help build a bridge between engineering and students in the community who may one day become pursue their own path as engineers.
"Hopefully, these help campers approach things in a scientifically observant way through experiential learning," Dr. Tehrani said. "And, let them and their parents know that Temple is here and a welcoming place."