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 band width 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 the 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 project.
- Each high school student selected for this program will be involved in a 12-month research experience, working full time in the summer and 16 hours per week during the school year.
- Prior to undertaking their own research, students in the Biotechnology Research Track attend a 4-week summer “Cell Biology Boot Camp” where they learn important scientific research skills necessary to be successful in the laboratory.
- For the Engineering Research Track, the initial part of the summer is a 3 to 4 week "Boot Camp" that includes learning robotics.
- 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 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:
- 67 students served so far; 25 in the current class (including 7 returning students, and 18 new students)
- 16 ENGAGES students graduated high school in 2015. Of those, 15 earned college scholarships to top-ranked institutions, such as Stanford, Dartmouth, University of Pennsylvania, and Johns Hopkins. Two decided to attend Georgia Tech. Other schools included Agnes Scott, Spelman, UGA, and Georgia State University. One student enlisted in the U.S. Army with plans to go to college after.
- Six (6) students have received the prestigious Gates Millennium Scholarship.
- One female student from CSKYWLA was selected to go to the White House and speak on a panel about women pursuing undergraduate degrees and careers in STEM.
- In 2015, Georgia Tech and Atlanta Public Schools (APS) signed a five year Memorandum of Understanding, establishing their official partnership. One more APS school was added to the partnership, Benjamin E. Mays High School.
- APS Superintendent, Meria Carstarphen and Georgia Tech President, Bud Peterson both attended and gave welcoming remarks to kick-off the ENGAGES 2015 summer celebration.
- ENGAGES students have presented their research at national conferences and are contributing to cutting edge university research.