Engineering Ambassadors Visit Houston
Over the winter break, four Rensselaer engineering students organized and led an event with the goal of exciting and encouraging more young women in the Houston, Texas, area to study and pursue future careers in the field of engineering. The presentation specifically targeted high school students.
Materials engineering major Lauren Brumbaugh ’13, environmental engineering major Grace Hermann ’15, chemical engineering major Sarah DuConge ’15, and mechanical engineering major Frank Myers ’15, all members of the Rensselaer Engineering Ambassadors program, presented to a large audience of students and their families about the opportunities, challenges, and rewards of an engineering education.
“The mission of Rensselaer’s Engineering Ambassadors Program is to help inspire the next generation of students to explore the role of engineers in society,” said Brumbaugh, whose hometown is Katy, Texas a suburb of Houston. “Often students have a misconception of who engineers are and what they do. Our program was designed to dispel the typical stereotypes surrounding ‘being an engineer’ and show how engineering is an exciting career that can make a difference in the world.”
Brumbaugh recalls that as a high school student, she was fortunate to have participated in several math and science classes where activities such as making homemade ice cream and bouncy balls was an exciting way to experience engineering first-hand. The bouncy balls, made from corn starch, borax, glue, and water, was an experiment demonstrating the properties of common household items. This simple and fun activity inspired her to explore materials science engineering, she said.
The event was organized through the students’ local connections with the National Charity League’s Star Chapter, a nonprofit national organization with the goal of fostering mother-daughter relationships with a strong commitment to community service, leadership development, and cultural experiences.
The participants commented that they had a new perspective of engineering as a result of participating within the Engineering Ambassadors program.
“Thank you so much for yesterday’s seminar on engineering. It was invaluable to us and (we) were extremely inspired by the information and the way it was presented. Thanks again!” wrote one participant.
“Thanks so much for organizing the engineering event for today. Both my kids enjoyed it. This has now sparked an interest in (my daughter) to explore her options. These are very impressive young people. Thanks again,” said another participant.
To learn more about the Engineering Ambassadors program, go to eng.rpi.edu/engineering-ambassadors.