Founded in December 2014 by Bill Woodburn, Engineering Tomorrow’s mission (www.engtom.org) is to introduce high school students, particularly female and minorities to the field of engineering. According to the program coordinator, Kristine Budell, “The United States is lagging in this field, and interactions provide an opportunity to reach top math and science students.” The agenda for the day, which involved students from Our Lady of Lourdes, Kennedy Catholic and John S. Burke high schools, included short presentations and then students were divided into 2 groups to perform different experiments. This conference concentrated on global issues, with experiments in Solar Panels and Bridge Development. Both groups had the opportunity to work in both areas. Mrs. Budell discussed that they have different experiments that they rotate amongst different conferences that can include Robotics, Wind Power, Solar, or Civil engineering.
What makes Wednesday’s program so unique is that it was run completely by engineers who volunteer their time to participate. Mrs. Budell was assisted by Tunekah Noble a chemical engineer who works for GE and students from Manhattan College. The students are all in engineering programs and discuss with the high school students their experiences that they have had so far in college. In addition Engineering Tomorrow also provides the high school students internship opportunities over the summer to work on the experiments and see where they can be improved for the future.