Catholic University Engineering School Forges Links to High Schools
National Science Foundation grant of $245,000 for four years to The Catholic University of America will enable 15 Washington-area Catholic high schools to gain access to the Internet by connecting to the university's computer network.
The joint project by the Computer Center and School of Engineering will include the purchase of a work station for the engineering school and microcomputer servers for the university and each high school. The servers will be linked to CUA by using modems over telephone lines. The plan is to include seven schools the first year and eight the second year, says Ardoth Hassler, Computer Center executive director. She and Steven Chin, an assistant engineering dean, are project principal investigators.
The effort is the latest in the engineering school's affiliation with area high schools. Since last year, several schools have been gaining access by modem to math software on School of Engineering computers.
"The goal is to motivate interest in math and science by promoting engineering as an attractive career that makes valuable contributions," says John J. McCoy, dean. Establishing local area networks at the schools and linking the networks to CUA allows schools to access the Internet and sophisticated software that is too expensive for an individual high school, he says.
CUA's engineering program was founded in 1896, becoming a school in 1930. The School of Engineering offers programs in biomedical, civil, electrical, and mechanical engineering and confers a full range of undergraduate and graduate degrees. Special programs include a dual degree program in architecture and civil engineering, a computer science in engineering program, and an undergraduate concentration in construction engineering.
The engineering school conducts Engineering 2000, an annual summer program that draws more than 150 students from high schools across the country. Faculty offer a speakers' bureau, and engineering nights are held for local high schools. Students, teachers, and principals interested in CUA's engineering programs should call Dean McCoy at 202-319- 5160.
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