A primary mission of the UMKC National Society of Black Engineers (NSBE) student chapter is to encourage and promote STEM studies and careers to underrepresented minorities. Over the years, NSBE student chapter leaders have passed this torch so well that NSBE now sponsors and organizes several activities. Year-round NSBE holds sessions for high school students geared toward exposing them to the “fun in STEM studies” by building hovercraft models and rockets, exploring STEM concepts through experiential learning. In addition, sessions in ACT preparation, professionalism and public speaking are also provided and an annual youth minority engineering night is held in the spring. NSBE junior (high school students) joined our UMKC NSBE members at the NSBE national conference in March 27-31 in Indianapolis where they received mentoring and leadership training. Chapter enrichment activities for NSBE members include resume reviews, interview tactics and practice. NSBE members all agree that the opportunities for mentoring, community involvement and leadership training make NSBE an exceptional organization! To learn more about the NSBE mission, see the UMKC Today article “Engineering Students Promote Program” which features the experiences of current NSBE president DeJ’on Slaughter and vice-president George White. Sierra Shipley is NSBE’s president-elect.
Continuing its tradition of outreach to our Kansas City K-12 community and promoting STEM studies, UMKC’s School of Computing and Engineering (SCE) actively supports and participates in FIRST Robotics goals and objectives. SCE’s Dean Kevin Truman was instrumental in the creation of the KC STEM Alliance, a collaborative regional network which includes PLTW and FIRST funded by the Kauffman Foundation. Currently as the KC STEM Alliance’s Board Chairman, Dean Truman is a passionate advocate and fund raiser for the KC STEM Alliance.
Dean Truman’s enthusiasm is matched by our SCE students including engineering students Tim Gitau, Clement Lumanyika, and Matthew Mohler who mentored three FIRST Robotics Competition (FRC) teams as they prepared for the March 1 – March 3, 2012 FIRST Robotics Competition at Hale Arena in KC. The FRC’s practice field during the competition was manned by engineering student Ben Heaivilin who volunteered as the FRC Practice Field Coordinator. Ben was joined by volunteers Matthew Mohler and SCE staff member Debby Dilks. National Society of Black Engineers (NSBE) student chapter officers and engineering students George White, Dejon Slaughter and Kingsley Kantanka visited with many FRC teams serving as FRC ambassadors. SCE Director of Student Affairs Whitney Molloy worked many long hours as a member of the Greater KC Regional Planning Committee for FIRST Robotics to help ensure the competition’s success. SCE is proud to join Kansas City teachers, parents and our educational and business engineering, technology and science communities in the support of STEM studies and STEM careers! [More photos can be viewed here.]
Two SCE student organizations, the National Society of Black Engineers (NSBE) and the Society of Women Engineers (SWE), recently engaged with area high school students promoting STEM studies and STEM careers. Dr. Ceki Halmen, Assistant Professor of Civil Engineering, and NSBE members demonstrated to students from Bishop Hogan High School the importance of materials and materials testing in civil engineering. SWE members discussed engineering and college preparation with students at William Chrisman High School. Debby Dilks, long-time SCE staff member, and several SCE students served as volunteers and judges at the 2012 FIRST LEGO League Regional Championship. The event featured 35 teams comprised of 350 elementary and middle school students from Kansas and Missouri. SCE is proud of its outreach tradition and each year its students, faculty and staff are involved in a wide variety of community outreach activities.