WHAT: An engineer, a student and a technician from New Jersey Institute of Technology (NJIT) who helped middle and high school students from Newark compete in New Jersey FIRST (For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology) competitions will discuss their experience with a delegation of Senegalese educators.
WHERE: West Side High School, Newark
WHEN: Monday, Sept. 19, at 2 p.m.
WHO: Durgesh Sethi, a junior at NJIT majoring in mechanical engineering, mentored students at the Oliver Street School, Newark, which won a New Jersey First middle-school competition, held in January at NJIT. The school, along with Sethi, was invited to attend a First Lego exposition held this August in Japan. Sethi, of Newark, is a graduate of Technology High School, Newark, where he participated in FIRST. NJIT President Robert A. Altenkirch, engineer Levelle Burr-Alexander, project manager for instruction at NJIT’s Center for Pre-College Programs, and Frank Johansson, a technician at NJIT, will attend the event.
WHY: NJIT helped the Newark students master the concepts of design, engineering and computer programming involved in robotics. “Last year, with help from NJIT, Technology High won the highest award in the robotics contest,” said Bahig Michaels, district robotic coordinator for the Newark School District. “With help from NJIT students such as Sethi,” he added, “we not only can compete with the affluent suburban schools, but we can win.”
BACKGROUND: NJIT has provided shop, engineering facilities and labs as well as technical support for the Newark teams. NJIT students have been enthusiastic mentors; many, like Sethi, having participated themselves in FIRST during high school. NJIT has given scholarships to members of the Newark teams, and through its Center for Pre-College Programs, has taught Newark high school teachers about engineering, design and computer programming. “NJIT’s level of support of the Newark schools is unprecedented,” said Randy Schaeffer, FIRST regional director for New York City and New Jersey. “No other college in the nation has helped a school district the way NJIT is helping Newark.”