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U.S. ARMY Continues their Support of Encouraging and Preparing Minority Students for Careers in Engineering

Students experience engineering in the UNITE summer program coordinated by JETS.

Alexandria, VA — July 22, 2010 —This summer, 578 students, in grades 9-12 from throughout the United States, will participate in four-to-six week summer engineering camps at nine university locations. For the 25th year, JETS will coordinate the U.S. Army Research Office (USARO) funded program, UNITE, designed to engage historically underrepresented and disadvantaged youth in highly rigorous academic courses and project-based learning to prepare them for engineering majors and careers. UNITE is part of the Army Educational Outreach Program (AEOP), which is comprised of Army-sponsored research, education, competitions, internships and practical experiences designed to engage and guide students and teachers in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) education.

The nine universities conducting the 2010 summer programs are: Florida International University (July 5-July 30); Morgan State University (July 17-August 7); New Jersey Institute of Technology (July 6-August 5); New Mexico MESA (May 31-July 30); Savannah State University (June 27-July 30); Texas Southern University (June 7-July 20); University of Delaware (June 20-July 16); University of Detroit – Mercy (July 6-July 30); Xavier University – Louisiana (May 31-June 25).

Each of the nine programs are structured independently yet all consist of learning opportunities that give participants the opportunity to apply their talents in engineering through off-site field work, hands-on labs, expert lectures, team-based projects, and one-on-one instruction. Florida International University, one of largest UNITE sites, will serve an average of 150 students; Morgan State University will incorporate robotics into their curriculum; New Jersey Institute of Technology will challenge rising ninth and tenth grade females to improve their math and science backgrounds; New Mexico MESA will connect with over 80 students using their advanced coursework; Savannah State University will focus on serving the top 25 academically talented students from the area with math/science and hands-on activities/field trips; Texas Southern University will include classroom tutoring and career counseling sessions; University of Delaware will provide a simulated college experience while supplementing the student’s high school curriculum; University of Detroit-Mercy will offer classes in math and science as well as college writing and persuasive speaking; and Xavier University-Louisiana will help students improve their analytical reasoning and vocabulary skills.

Throughout the program’s history, the USARO has invested over $3.5 million , reaching more than 8,000 students in the UNITE program. Carmen San Martin, a UNITE Alumnus reported, “UNITE’s program has been a catalyst in my life. Although I didn’t realize it when I was younger how important this program was to me, I am now very thankful for it since I see how it has impacted my life. I am now a successful college student at Florida International University, which was where UNITE programs were hosted.”


UNITE Summer Program

Pictured above: UNITE Alumni of FIU, Carmen San Martin and Ryan David Ortiz

About JETS
JETS is a national non-profit education organization dedicated to promoting engineering and helping students discover their potential for the profession. A solid framework of high school educators, corporations, professional organizations and universities incorporate JETS pre-college engineering programs in local communities throughout the United States. Employing a unique and innovative approach—Explore, Assess, Experience—thousands of diverse students are enticed to pursue engineering majors and careers.

Each year, JETS programs touch more than 40,000 students and 10,000 educators from 6,000 high schools across the country. JETS participants are a diverse group – more than 50 percent are from groups that are traditionally underrepresented in engineering and technology fields, including one-third who are female.