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  5. Underrepresented high-schoolers get a taste of COE undergrad life

Underrepresented high-schoolers get a taste of COE undergrad life

The ProCSI program recently completed its sixth year of exposing underrepresented high-school students to the world of mechanical engineering.

Mechanical Engineering Associate Professor Dan Negrut and the graduate and undergraduate students in his lab volunteer their time every summer to run ProCSI, which stands for Promoting the Computational Sciences Initiative. In July 2013, a group of nine ProCSI students from Wisconsin and Illinois spent a week on campus learning about computer-aided engineering and design. 

They visited labs all around the college and at the Wisconsin Institutes for Discovery, and even journeyed to the Sector67 prototyping workshop on Madison's east side. The students focused on a bridge-building competition and learning about the role of physics in computer games, among other subject areas.

"If you look at what happens in our college, it's heavily males and white males," Negrut says. "We want underrepresented students to understand that it's within reach, and we want them to see the excitement in pursuing a career in engineering."

The ProCSI students met with current engineering students, who told them about the admissions process and what to expect from undergraduate life. Outside of class, the high-schoolers visited the Memorial Union and Camp Randall Stadium, played laser tag, and met Bucky Badger. 

Scott Gordon