Engineering Their Future

Devonte Daley, left, and Keenon Christian from Jumoke Academy in Hartford learn about Newton’s Laws of Motion by building and testing a balloon-powered rocket car from simple materials. (Christopher LaRosa/UConn Photo)
More than 200 8th grade boys from underrepresented backgrounds attended an event on campus April 1 to learn about key concepts and techniques in science and engineering. Here, Devonte Daley, left, and Keenon Christian from Jumoke Academy in Hartford learn about Newton’s Laws of Motion by building and testing a balloon-powered rocket car from simple materials. (Christopher LaRosa/UConn Photo)

More than 200 8th-grade boys from 15 schools around the state spent the day on campus April 1 at an event titled Engineering Your Future. The event, hosted by the School of Engineering, was a day-long conference designed specially for 8th-grade boys from underrepresented backgrounds interested in the STEM fields. The students engaged in hands-on activities that helped them learn key concepts and techniques in science and engineering, in hopes of sparking their interest in pursuing a career in STEM.

“Our ultimate purpose for hosting the conference is to introduce [these 8th-graders] to role models that look like them in the fields of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM),” says Stephen Sam ’19 (ENG), a computer science major who is the Region 1 Telecommunication Chair for the National Society of Black Engineers and senior adviser of the UConn student organization Brothers Reaching Our Society.

The schools represented include: Two Rivers Magnet Middle School in East Hartford, West Side STEM Magnet Middle School in Groton, Capital Preparatory Magnet School in Hartford, Environmental Sciences Magnet School at Mary Hooker in Hartford, Global Communications Academy in Hartford, Jumoke Academy in Hartford, Noah Webster Micro Society School in Hartford, Thomas Edison Middle School in Meriden, HALS Academy in New Britain, Pulaski Middle School in New Britain, the Academy of Aerospace & Engineering in Rocky Hill, Sage Park Middle School in Windsor, and Vernon Center Middle School in Vernon.