Tech ESA hosts more than 600 high school students for Engineering and Science Day

Louisiana Tech’s student-led Engineering and Science Association (ESA) hosted over 600 high school students at the University’s College of Engineering and Science (COES) for Engineering and Science Day held Dec. 9.

Through the event, the ESA – along with other student organizations throughout the COES – showcased engineering and science at Louisiana Tech for visitors from high schools throughout Louisiana and Arkansas.

Attendees engaged with science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) through hands-on activities designed and led by Louisiana Tech students, learned about Louisiana Tech COES majors and extracurricular options through presentations by student organizations, and heard from Mechanical Engineering alumnus and American Ninja finalist Nate Burkhalter.

Burkhalter kicked off Engineering and Science Day with a talk about the importance of problem-solving, asking the right questions, and looking at challenges as opportunities. During his address, he encouraged attendees to take advantage of chances to grow, even ones that seem intimidating.

Afterward, COES student leaders divided the attendees into groups and guided rotations between activity stations. Visiting students and their teachers spent the rest of the day learning about Tech’s student organizations and getting hands-on experience in experiments designed by the student organization leaders. Through these student-led activities, visitors learned how Louisiana Tech and the COES culture increase students’ STEM skills, confidence, and leadership abilities.

“I personally love these types of events because it gives my students firsthand knowledge about what college life is like from people who are living the experience,” St. Frederick High School Physical Science teacher Dan Lindow said. “The presenters gave good advice to the students, telling them to take as many dual enrollment classes and higher-level science and math classes as you can to help prepare for college. I really appreciated that that the engineering students through their actions, speech, and activities stressed my philosophy of education – which is to see and do much, suffer much, and study much. My students commented on the variety of fun hands-on activities they participated in, and they enjoyed the sage advice of Nate Burkhalter. Many of my students are fans of the Ninja Warrior TV show, had seen Nate on the show, and were anxious to meet, talk to, and have their picture taken with him. All in all, it was a good day and well received by my students.”

“Not only did this event provide students with knowledge about our College and our University, but it gave them a chance to meet some of our students, faculty, and administration,” ESA External Communications and Outreach Officer and Industrial Engineering junior Braden Roger added. “The buildings and organizations showcased throughout the day are a symbol of our home. The COES culture that we have created here is something special. Overall, I am so grateful for all students in attendance, and I believe the connections they made and the information they learned were a success! I am proud of the support that the ESA received as we planned this event, from the general student body to the Undergraduate Studies Office.”

“Since 1938, our students have showcased what high school students in the region can do with STEM degrees,” COES Associate Dean of Undergraduate Studies Dr. Heath Tims said. “Our current students, especially those in the ESA, put a lot of effort into putting on and organizing this large event. Its annual success showcases our College and how our current students are help recruit the next group of leaders in their programs.”

The ESA includes all COES undergraduate students and promotes community service, STEM education outreach, and friendly competition between other COES organizations. In addition to Engineeringn and Science Day, the ESA organizes the College’s annual Gumbo Fest and Spring Release socials.


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