This fall, Fontbonne Hall Academy partnered with Brown University, an Ivy League institution located in Providence, Rhode Island, to offer a pre-college engineering program. The Brown Engineering program covers four different concepts, which are an introduction to the basics of engineering, renewable energy, biomedical, and material science. It is an online course taught by professor, Dr. Haberstroh, from Brown University’s School of Engineering. Twenty-two students from grades 10-12 meet in school with the moderator of STEM, Mr. Segall, once in a six-day cycle. This program is an extension of Fontbonne’s educational opportunities in the fields of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics, otherwise known as STEM. Students who participate in this year-long course are eligible to receive scholarships through Brown.
Throughout the year, students work together to create their own engineering designs. Students are broken up into five groups, where they are able to collaborate and complete their goals, efficiently and hands-on. For the first introduction project, the students had to successfully develop a wheelchair that would aid a person who weighs 350 pounds. Each group would come together and discuss their design ideas that may work. They had to develop and design their own wheelchair prototypes out of cardboard.
Each group works together to complete their year-long project. One group chose to create artificial gravity in space, while another group decided to develop glasses that can take pictures and videos. Each week, the groups work together to develop an idea for their design. To help complete their projects, they meet in school with Mr. Segall and video chat Dr. Haberstroh. Mr. Segall and Dr. Haberstroh are both easily accessible and willing to help each group with their design.
This program is only a year long, but it allows students to get a better understanding of engineering. The students are able to not only take away a newfound knowledge in engineering, but the experience of taking a college course. When this course concludes, four participants will receive partial scholarships to attend the Summer@Brown Program. This program offers a wide range of courses and provides students the chance to experience college-level coursework and on campus living before they graduate high school.