July 20 Program at MIT Will Focus on Minority Students


CAMBRIDGE, Mass.--A special Massachusetts Institute of Technology program, "Lift As We Climb," will bring together on July 20 approximately 300 people--from pre-college youngsters through faculty--with the purpose of developing an interest in science, engineering and mathematics among African American, Latino and Native American students who have been underrepresented in these fields.

Participants in the one-day event will come from several long-established, summer programs at MIT and at Lincoln Laboratory.

The special event and the on-going programs are sponsored by the Office of the Dean of the Graduate School, the Office of Educational Opportunity Programs, the Office of Engineering Special Programs, the Lincoln Laboratory Office of Human Resources and the Office of Minority Education.

Margaret Daniels Tyler, acting associate dean of the MIT Graduate School, is coordinating Lift As We Climb activities.

Others involved are Dean Leo Osgood, director, Office of Minority Education; Paul Hezel, Lincoln Laboratory; Laura Robinson, director, special engineering programs, School of Engineering; and Ronald Crichlow, director of educational opportunity programs, Office of the Provost.

Program objectives are:

  • Create an opportunity to explore and identify educational pathways in engineering and science.
  • Build bridges and relationships that will serve as a foundation for educational and career planning via mentorship.
  • ������������������Enhance interest in technical research through interaction and exposure to advanced graduate students and faculty.
  • Catalyze an environment that encourages advanced students to serve as role models.

A speaking program begins at 3:30pm in Rm. 10-250.

MIT President Charles M. Vest will welcome the participants and Reginald Brothers II, a doctoral degree candidate in the Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science, will deliver the keynote address.

An "icebreaker" session and focus groups will follow. A cookout will be held later in the evening.

The on-going, summer-long MIT programs from which the participants will come are:

Project Interphase, an academic enhancement program of the Office of Minority Education, designed to assist underrepresented minority students admitted to the freshmen class make the transition into the MIT community. The program enrolls one-third of the incoming African American, Hispanic/Latino, and Native American students in a curriculum of physics, calculus, writing, and physical education.

Lincoln Laboratory Summer Minority Internship Program, for undergraduate students from schools other than MIT majoring in electrical engineering, computer science and physics, provides the opportunity to improve scientific and engineering skills through hands-on experience in fields such as communications systems, radar analysis, digital signal processing and solid state electronics.

MITES (Minority Introduction To Engineering and Science) introduces high school juniors to careers in engineering and science. Participants are selected from a nationwide pool of applicants who belong to one of the following underrepresented groups: American Indian, African American, Mexican American, Puerto Rican and other Hispanic.

The MIT Summer Research Program (MSRP) brings talented sophomores and juniors from around the country to MIT to work in research laboratories under the tutelage and guidance of experienced scientists and engineers. The students who participate in this program will be better prepared and properly motivated to seek the Ph.D degree.

The Educational Talent Search Program, a year-round, federally funded outreach program, assists 650 educationally and/or economically disadvantaged junior high and high school students from Cambridge and Somerville who seek to continue their education beyond high school.

The MIT/Wellesley Upward Bound Program, a year round, federally funded, joint institutional outreach program, assists 70 high school students from Cambridge who seek to continue their education beyond high school by attending college.

The focus groups that will be presented on July 20 and their location are:

MultiMedia Technology (Rm 3-133). The Middle Passage Project at MIT is a computerized, architectural animation of a proposed monument to stand in the Boston Harbor. The monument pays tribute to the millions of African lives lost during the 260-year slave trade, from Africa to the Americans. This five-minute, simulated walk-through is a display of the monument's physical and emotional construct, as well as its proposed location and scale. The project has been recognized by Architectural Record as the best computational delineation of the year, and will stand as a model for architectural presentations using movement and time. Presenters will be Larry Sass, PhD Candidate, and Greg Anderson, SM candidate, Department of Architecture.

Mechanical Design/Robotics (Pappalardo Laboratory, basement of Building 3). The MITES Design Contest takes place every summer after the students in the program have worked for three weeks to build machines that carry out a specific task. The course is modeled after the 2.70 class, the introductory design subject in the MIT Department of Mechanical Engineering. The machines will be on display, and one will have the chance to see the machines in action, competing on the table "playing field" used in the actual contest. In addition, one will be able to see posters with sketches prepared by the students during different stages of their design, and a video of the competition will be shown.

Environmental Sciences and Engineering (Rm 4-163 or the Bush Room). The Environmental Protection Agency estimates that 60,000 of the 10 million known chemical compounds are used in U.S. commerce, most of them introduced before laws were enacted to regulate them. Renewable sources account for only about one tenth of U.S. energy. Only about a fifth of the nation's 6,000 municipal landfills have systems to prevent contamination of water supplies. And the list of Superfund priority sites is expected to grow by about 100 hot spots a year. These issues persistently raises serious questions about the way we live. We must turn around some of the most vital environmental problems we face or we will be crossing important, irreversible thresholds that will leave the world permanently impoverished. Presenters: LaCreis Kidd, doctoral candidate, Division of Toxicology; Albert Essiam, Doctoral Candidates, Civil & Environmental Engineering; Environmental Careers Organization, Al Corbin, Jr.

Telecommunications (Rm 10-250). PictureTel, a videoconferencing enterprise founded in 1984, uses a technology that industry analysts expect to become as common as the fax machine.


Topics: Volunteering, outreach, public service

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