MORE THAN 700 ENTHUSIASTIC PARENTS AND STUDENTS TURN OUT FOR CHIS&E FALL ORIENTATION
On Saturday, September 19th Dr. Irving McPhail, president of the National Action Council for Minorities in Engineering (NACME) spoke to an overflow crowd of enthusiastic students and parents interested in science, technology, engineering and mathematics education. Literally hundreds of parents and children turned out for the ChiS&E Fall Orientation and Registration for students in grades one through seven.
Held at the University of Illinois- Chicago where classes take place throughout the year, the session is designed to familiarize parents and their children with processes and procedures and to register for the free Saturday engineering program. At the close of the session, over 356 students had been registered, the largest single enrollment in the program’s history,
A dynamic, engaging speaker known throughout the academic world for his innovative approaches to teaching and learning, Dr. McPhail delivered an inspirational message. Beginning by drawing a correlation between jazz music and engineering, Dr. McPhail went on to talk about the importance of engineering and technology skills and the need for more workers, particularly people of color, in a future America. Using graphs and charts he illustrated engineering salaries vs salaries in other fields. He also pointed out that engineering jobs will grow twice as fast as jobs overall. Dr. McPhail encouraged parents to begin from an early age to support and encourage their children’s interest in science, technology, engineering and mathematics as the first step in preparing them for a future in STEM fields.
“Dr. McPhail not only provided valuable information about opportunities in STEM fields and future possibilities for students pursuing science, technology, mathematics and engineering,” said Kenneth Hill, ChiS&E president, “But based on the enthusiastic response he both inspired and motivated the parents and students in attendance to become fully committed to participating in ChiS&E.”
Following Dr. McPhail, Dr. Kevin Pitts, Associate Dean of Undergraduate Programs and Professor of Physics, College of Engineering at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, discussed the university’s partnership with ChiS&E and the 6th and 7th grade physics program the university will design and implement (See UI-Chicago SE partnership update).