“Engineering a Better World” sees another successful year

Engineering Camp

The “Engineering a Better World” camp recently completed its last four sessions. Local middle schoolers engaged in STEM-related activities each Saturday from Oct. 14 to Nov. 4. This was the camp’s third year in operation and saw a record 53 campers.

Engineering Ambassadors organized the sessions, which featured unique activities. These activities included making racecars out of rubber bands, building the tallest structure out of construction paper, creating bottle rockets, and constructing a tower out of marshmallows and sticks. Additionally, members from Madison Aerospace, the National Society of Black Engineers and the Society of Women Engineers led the activities. 

Engineering Camp

Megan Caufield, the president of Engineering Ambassadors, emphasized that the key focus during the activities was the design focus. “We try to familiarize all the students with the process and problem-solving by presenting them with a variety of different challenges, making each weekend unique.”

Programs like “Engineering a Better World” help to promote collaborative, hands-on exploration that inspires students to pursue engineering. The outreach beyond JMU and into Harrisonburg also helps destigmatize engineering. “It’s really important to engage with this age group early on. Engineering is perceived as such a challenging major, and it’s important to let them know that anyone can do it and that it’s not as hard as it seems,” noted Emma Fox, student ambassador. “Sparking that interest early on to take those classes is super important to us.”

Academic adviser Shae Powell echoed the necessity and benefits of educational camps. “Outreach programs are essential for JMU as they contribute to the university's commitment to community engagement and educational excellence. These programs inspire the next generation of engineers and strengthen ties between the university and the community.”

Learn more about JMU’s Engineering Program.

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by Dorian Crawford ('27)

Published: Wednesday, November 29, 2023

Last Updated: Thursday, March 28, 2024

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