LARAMIE — With a goal of inspiring future engineers, the University of Wyoming’s College of Engineering and Applied Science will host the 32nd annual Engineering Summer Program (ESP) for high school students June 16-22.
This year’s local ESP participants are Dallin Kurth of Green River and Brixen Mathis and Erin Poyer of Rock Springs.
Rising high school seniors from Wyoming and across the nation will take classes and experience the world of engineering through hands-on discovery. They will stay in UW’s residence halls and eat at the Washakie Dining Center, an experience that also prepares them for life in college.
Sponsors of the ESP are Union Wireless, Halliburton, the Wyoming Engineering Society, Kennedy Foundation, Kester Funding and the College of Engineering and Applied Science.
This year, 37 students will have the opportunity to attend classes in a wide range of subjects. Topics include physical computing, material science, civil engineering, atmospheric science, sustainability, combustion and computer science.
“When they participate in these classes, they see what engineers do,” said Jeff Anderson, the program director. “They learn of the many great career opportunities that are available for engineers. They enter college with a better focus on their studies and a better perspective of career goals.”
Classes are taught by engineering faculty members and graduate students. The attendees decide what they want to focus on and then attend morning and afternoon sessions. In the evenings, they tour campus, including research labs located in the brand-new, state-of-the-art Engineering Education and Research Building.
In addition to the courses, participants have the opportunity to explore petroleum and chemical engineering during a daylong field trip to Halliburton’s hydraulic fracturing site in Colorado and the Sherard Water Treatment Plant in Cheyenne. They also participate in group activities such as picnics and barbecues, skit nights and a trip to the UW Harry C. Vaughan Planetarium.
According to Anderson, students who participate in this program often matriculate to UW and form study groups that last throughout their college experience. In addition, they get to know the professors and the university.
“One thing we try to do is have them build relationships with faculty so, when they’re trying to decide where they want to go study, they already have a connection at the University of Wyoming,” Anderson said. “This year’s cohort represents a diverse group of top-performing students. We are thrilled to welcome them to campus.”