Technology and Engineering Professors Team with Local High School Students

Posted: January 27, 2006 at 1:00 am, Last Updated: November 30, -0001 at 12:00 am

By Rey Banks

In a first-of-its-kind program, George Mason’s Volgenau School of Information Technology and Engineering (IT&E) is partnering with Thomas Jefferson (TJ) High School for Science and Technology in Alexandria, Va., to offer the high school students college credit from George Mason.

Beginning Friday, Jan. 27, selected TJ students will commence work on independent study research projects with Mason faculty members in computer science and systems engineering. They will be paired with faculty members based on interest area, and after successful completion of their project will receive one college credit.

TJ is known for attracting some of the brightest students in Northern Virginia through competitive admissions.

The student projects include research in wireless sensor networks; computer-based systems design; and multi-agent simulation, robotics and evolutionary computation.

“This is an exciting program that offers advantages to all participants,” says Lloyd Griffiths, dean of IT&E. “I’m encouraging the students to use part of their time on our campus to become more familiar with what the university has to offer its students outside of the classroom. I’m looking forward to meeting with them during the semester to learn more about how their study is progressing. I anticipate this is the beginning of what will become a very popular and successful program.”

“For our students to participate in this initiative with the extraordinarily talented Mason faculty is a huge boost to our academic program,” says Douglas Tyson, TJ assistant principal. “George Mason is offering our students an opportunity that we couldn’t physically or fiscally provide for them at this time. We hope this partnership can serve as a model of the kind of synergy that can exist between high schools and universities to advance science, technology, engineering and math.”

The Volgenau School of IT&E has sought and obtained support from local technology businesses that understand the need for educating more students in fields of information technology and engineering.

The students will attend a meet-and-greet breakfast with the IT&E dean and faculty before joining their assigned faculty member to begin work on their assignments.

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