Project ENGAGES consists of three program components:
1. Science Outreach Initiative. Through direct interactions with the partner high schools, Georgia Tech researchers interact with the science classes during the school year so as to provide a more in-depth exposure to science. This is accomplished through the following approaches:
- Providing hands-on learning opportunities for the students in Georgia Tech laboratories.
- Using a high bandwidth video conferencing capability, high school science classes are connected with a Georgia Tech laboratory so that the students can be exposed to new areas of science and engineering, and participate in experiments using high-tech scientific equipment.
- Establishing a science club with the two of the high schools in partnership with Georgia Tech to reach out to a wide group of students having an interest in science, engineering, and technology. This science club includes ninth and tenth graders from the two high schools and seventh and eighth graders from the middle schools associated with the high schools.
2. Research Experience for Students. Under the mentorship of an engineering or science researcher, students will conduct their own research projects.
- Each high school student selected for this program will be involved in a 12-month research experience, working full-time in the summer and 15 hours per week during the school year.
- Prior to undertaking their own research, students will attend a 4-week summer “Boot Camp” where they learn important scientific research skills necessary to be successful in the laboratory.
- The student’s completed project will be presented at a science fair competition.
3. Science Training for Teachers. Science teachers from partner schools train with a Georgia Tech research scientist to gain exposure to engineering and science research and acquire laboratory skills.
- Teachers have the option to be involved either in training continually over the year or only during the summer months.
- Teacher participants helped to develop the Project ENGAGES program and now help to co-teach the course during the summer with Georgia Tech staff to new student participants.
- Through training, teachers are equipped to expand the current classroom curriculum into new areas of science and engineering that enables them to have a wider impact on science education in the partnering high schools.
Program Outcomes to date include:
- 130 students participated so far; 29 in the current class (including 9 returning students, and 20 new students)
- 75 ENGAGES students have earned college scholarships to top-ranked institutions, such as Stanford, Dartmouth, Penn, Columbia, Harvard, and Johns Hopkins. Fifteen ENGAGES alums are currently at Georgia Tech. Other schools include Agnes Scott, Spelman, Morehouse, Duke, Michigan, UGA, and Georgia State University, among others. Two students enlisted in the military with plans to go to college afterward.
- 6 students have earned the prestigious Gates Millennium Scholarship.
- 10 Project ENGAGES scholars participated in a boardroom meeting with US Secretary of Education, Betsy DeVos, and the former President of Georgia Tech, Bud Peterson, where they were given a platform to talk about their research and overall experience in the program
- One female student from CSK was selected to go to the White House and speak on a panel about women pursuing undergraduate degrees and careers in STEM in 2014
- 11 ENGAGES students have advanced from the state science fair to compete at the Intel International Science Fair; some competed two years in a row; one placed and won scholarship money.
- 12 ENGAGES students have presented their research at national conferences and are contributing to cutting-edge university research.
- As part of the ENGAGES program, Georgia Tech grad students have established science clubs for 7th-10th graders in APS schools.