E2 Camp Educates, Works to Retain Future Engineering Students
BATON ROUGE – The excitement of 320 engineering freshmen echoed through the newly renovated Patrick F. Taylor Hall during the 11th annual Encounter Engineering Bridge Camp (E²) held on Aug.11-16.
The event helps incoming freshmen transition to life as college students and is a component of the National Science Foundation-funded STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) Talent Expansion program (STEP).
The primary goal of STEP is to build a community between students, faculty, staff
and industry to help increase retention of engineering students.
STEP Project Manager Adrienne Steele said she feels the program is a good way for students to connect with different resources in the college and around the university.
“A lot of research showed that students were lost and dropped out of their major between their first and second year of college,” Steele said. “Part of this [camp] is to help stop that.”
Paving the way for incoming freshmen was one of the reasons Anna Sheffield decided to join the Society of Peer Mentors.
“We are helping engineering majors with retention,” Sheffield said. “I thought that was really important and something I wanted to do.”
More than 90 student workers participated in E² this year. Steele said she couldn’t have organized a successful camp without the help of everyone.
“They [student workers] put in a lot of hours,” Steele said. “They kept up their energy levels all week.”
Mechanical engineering freshman James Lee said attending the program reaffirmed his choice of becoming an engineer.
“I have met a lot of cool engineers and they have shown me a lot of tips,” Lee said. “It has helped me to see how good this career is and why I should go into it.”
Indeed, students met with 60 representatives of various companies during an industry lunch that included Baker-Hughes, Dow Chemical, ExxonMobil, IBM, Shell and Albemarle Corporation.
Additionally, students participated in various team building and design activities, attended academic sessions, and met upperclassmen, faculty and industry partners.
Biomedical engineering freshman Peyton Anderson said registering for E² seemed like the perfect opportunity to learn more about resources offered by the College of Engineering.
“I heard other people talking about this camp and how it really made a difference in their engineering experience,” Anderson said.
Anderson added that her favorite part of the camp was the design competition, which consisted of eight ideas students could choose from to rebuild the fictional TigerLand Amusement Park, based on the now-closed Jazzland Park in New Orleans. The ideas incorporated the 11 engineering disciplines offered in the college.
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Contact: Joshua Duplechain, Director of Communications, 225-578-7833 (o), email@example.com.