Penn State Berks “Engineering Ahead” students learned about the Berks Launchbox via Zoom on July 15 to learn about another resource that can help them reach their goals. They were introduced to the many free services that the Berks Launchbox provides, especially their prototyping equipment. Since the students had designed boats in a 3d modeling software, Solidworks, Berks LaunchBox 3D printed the designs to test them out for their Engineering Ahead Design Challenge. Now, they are ready for the next step in the design process: testing. After testing their designs, the students can discuss which design held the most coins to illustrate the importance of the design process. These students will begin to recognize that failing is okay, gaining feedback from their tests is crucial and improving their next design is what engineering is all about.
Dr. Ryan Hassler does a great job introducing and connecting these new students to faculty, alumni and industry, which gives them a huge head start as they begin their first year as engineering majors at Penn State Berks.
The summer-bridge, PSU Berks Engineering Ahead Program aims to create a support system and provide academic enhancement for incoming Engineering students from diverse socio-economic and cultural backgrounds to ensure success in college. Intense exposure to mathematics as well as basic skill building hands-on activities, typical of the Engineering disciplines, forms the curricular backbone of the program. The students continue to have fall and spring, 1-credit courses with Dr. Hassler to continue the support throughout their freshman year. They also have the opportunity to take part in a 4-week summer program at University Park after their 1st year, which focuses on preparing them for their 2nd year math/science courses.
“Engineering Ahead has helped prepare me for the challenges to come at Penn State,” explained Nicolas Molignoni, a first-year student from Denver, Pennsylvania. “The online format has still allowed me to form relationships with other students and faculty before fall classes have even started. This program has made me ready and excited to be a part of the Penn State community.”
Check out some pictures from their visit below and more information in this press release.
Taught by: Ryan S. Hassler, PhD
Assistant Teaching Professor Mathematics
Engineering Ahead Coordinator