Posted March 12, 2012 Atlanta, GA
The Georgia Institute of Technology has been selected to host the launch of the STAY WITH IT™ campaign as part of the national Day of Engineering on March 14 in collaboration with the White House, Intel, Facebook and other university partners.
Launched by the President’s Council on Jobs and Competitiveness, STAY WITH IT™ is the first student outreach campaign focused on connecting engineering students to a community of their peers and experienced engineers, role models and influencers to encourage them to stay with the field of study and graduate with an engineering degree.
The Day of Engineering is a national celebration designed to promote and build enthusiasm for this new community of resources available to students on their journey to an engineering degree. At Georgia Tech, many events are planned on March 14, including a Facebook Live discussion that includes a panel of prominent engineers such as NASA Administrator Charles Bolden and Intel CEO Paul Otellini, as well as free food, giveaways and more.
Nationally, only 14 percent of all U.S. undergraduate students are enrolled in science, technology, engineering and mathematics programs and there is a 40 percent attrition rate of those enrolled in these disciplines after the first year.
Georgia Tech, however, is the gold standard for the retention and graduation of engineers, which is why the Institute was selected to host this campaign launch.
Using a mix of strategies and tactics, Georgia Tech holds on to 94 percent of freshmen after their first year, and the Institute succeeds in graduating eight out of every 10 of our students within six years.
“We are changing the way engineers learn with new approaches to the undergraduate curriculum,” said Gary May, Georgia Tech’s dean of the College of Engineering. “Rather than focus on traditional means to deliver content, we give students complex, multifaceted and realistic problems to help them develop effective problem solving skills and participate in self-directed learning. The professor becomes more of a facilitator supporting the student’s learning process.”
The Day of Engineering is just one activity at Georgia Tech that enhances the undergraduate learning experience. The College of Engineering has been successful in graduating engineers by putting an emphasis on peer mentor programs, vertically integrated projects, problem-based learning and a focus on student innovation through activities like the InVenture Prize.
In the InVenture Prize, students work independently or in teams on inventions that are presented to and judged by a panel of experts. This year’s final round of the annual competition will be held at 7 p.m. on March 13 in the Ferst Center.
Matthew Stoddard and Christopher Vollo are finalists in the competition for their device, “Stylii,” an extraordinarily precise, press-sensitive and capacitive stylus.
“Being a finalist is really exciting,” Stoddard said. “It makes me feel like what I’ve learned at Georgia Tech is working. That keeps me motivated to continue and work even harder on the projects I have going through the end of semester until I graduate and to be able to represent Georgia Tech afterwards.”
These initiatives, along with activities such as the Makers Club in the Georgia Tech Invention Studio and academic programs such as the co-op program, allow students to express their creativity as engineers and get hands-on experience.
“We are trying to change the culture here and the InVenture Prize is just one small step—one chip on that tree we’re trying to chop down—to try to make the students more entrepreneurial and inventive,” said Craig Forest, co-founder of the InVenture Prize and professor of mechanical engineering. “We have to change the conversation about engineering so it is something we celebrate.”
The Facebook Live event is open to pre-credentialed media. Those unable to attend the event can watch the livestream at www.facebook.com/Engineering and click Tech Talk Live.
Colleges and Universities around the country will be hosting viewing parties, including California State University at Sacramento, Cornell University, Duke University, New York Institute of Technology - Manhattan and Old Westbury Campuses, North Carolina State University, Santa Clara University, University of California at Berkeley, University of Florida, University of Hawaii, University of Kentucky, University of Maryland, University of Nevada, Reno and Virginia Tech.