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April 30, 2008 > Engineering Summer School Comes to Alameda County

Engineering Summer School Comes to Alameda County

Submitted By Michael Leahy

Some Alameda County middle school students, instead of immediately going on vacation, will spend part of their summer learning about engineering and technology. The opportunity comes from the Tech Academy, a grassroots program to help students explore and improve the skills needed to pursue college level work in engineering and technology. The Tech Academy will offer classes at California State University-East Bay and Alsion Montessori Middle/High School in Fremont, following expansion last summer in Morgan Hill and in Santa Clara,

Last summer 277 students took part in the program at San Jose State, Santa Clara and Sobrato High School in Morgan Hill. The sessions focused on themes of energy, water and high technology. Most of the learning occurred through team collaboration and hands-on projects. In one instance, students learned not only about gear ratios, but also about photovoltaic energy, as they built and raced solar-powered model cars. Students also 'deconstructed' discarded cell phones for an understanding of communication technology.

The three-hour a day, three-week sessions are targeted to students interested in math and science.
"It is important for students at these grades to understand the exciting profession of engineering and technology and the importance of K-12 math and science in this new era of globalization," says Dr. Pinson, Tech Academy Director. "America's economic success requires that we expand our engineering workforce."

The entry-level Tech Academy offers a specific theme for each week. "Water, Our Most Precious Resource" features the properties of water, testing water quality, building aqueducts and designing and building bridges. "Energy Resources" teaches the sun's energy potential, as applied in solar cooking. Students also build and race model cars powered by solar panels. The third week is "Space Exploration and High Tech", with activities including building and testing landing packages, robotics, and the disassembly of a cell phone to learn the functions of its components.

One hundred fellowships are being offered for students requiring financial assistance.

For further information about a local Tech Academy, visit www.techacademysv.com.


Alsion Tech Academy Middle School Students
6th, 7th and 8th grade students as of the fall 2008

Course instruction will be provided by experienced teachers, supported by engineering professionals, college engineering faculty and college engineering students. Problem solving techniques and hands-on laboratory projects will be taught concurrently to reinforce the students' understanding and learning.

All sessions will be conducted at the Alsion Montessori School in Fremont

Students are encouraged to apply early since enrollment is limited. For more information contact info@alsion.org or call (510)445-1127.





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