TUSCALOOSA, Ala. — High school students looking to pick up engineering and computer science skills this summer have the opportunity to experience and learn more about the disciplines during July at The University of Alabama.
Student Introduction to Engineering, or SITE, Summer Program is open to high school juniors and seniors who are interested in science, mathematics and engineering. The program is designed to help participants discover if engineering is the right career for them.
“They learn about what it takes to become an engineer and the courses that they take,” said Gregory Singleton, the director of Engineering Student Services at UA.
The program will take place in three separate week-long sessions. SITE I will be July 9-14, SITE II will be July 16-21 and SITE III will be July 23-28. Up to 50 students will attend each session led by four faculty members and seven engineering students.
“We’ve had over 270 applications for seats that total 150 students,” Singleton said.
The students will stay on campus for the week and take three classes — English, computer science and pre-calculus — and will also work together in teams to complete an engineering design project.
The project consists of the students creating a floatation device out of cardboard, a garbage bag and packing tape. The devices must hold four people and will be tested in the lazy river at the outdoor pool complex on campus from 3:45 – 5:45 p.m. each Thursday of camp.
During the week, SITE students also attend departmental engineering seminars and take campus and industrial plant tours as well as get the opportunity to go bowling and to the movies.
The summer program began in 1987 as MITE, or Minority Introduction to Engineering.
“It’s proven to be very, very successful,” Singleton said. “Well over 50 percent of the students who actually go through the SITE program typically enroll here at the University and not only in engineering. One unique demographic of the SITE participants is that slightly over 70 percent of the students are from out-of-state. It has really, really grown.”
In 1837, The University of Alabama became one of the first five universities in the nation to offer engineering classes. Today, UA’s College of Engineering has more than 5,800 students and more than 130 faculty. In recent years, students in the College have been named USA Today All-USA College Academic Team members, Goldwater, Hollings, Portz, Boren, Mitchell and Truman scholars.