August 8, 2012 | Volunteer Spotlight
Bronx High School Raises Engineering and Tech Gurus of Tomorrow
A newly implemented program at the Bronx Engineering and Technology Academy (BETA) is raising up hundreds of inner-city students to be the next generation of IT and engineering geniuses.
In partnership with the National Academy Foundation (NAF), BETA has introduced an extensive, hands-on IT and engineering curriculum, complete with classroom lessons, workshops, job shadowing, site visits and internships, all designed to prepare students for the demands of careers in IT and engineering.
“This program has really helped me learn how school relates to the working world,” says BETA 10th grader Noelfry Veras. “All that I am learning in class, along with the job shadowing opportunities and field trips are giving me a taste of the future.”
This spring, the students have been visiting businesses and college programs throughout the city including Verizon and Manhattan College’s engineering department, in order to gain a more realistic view into current trends in the fields that they are studying.
Beginning in freshman year, students are introduced to the two fields, taking classes daily and studying a variety of engineering and IT related topics from Auto-CAD to computer hardware. By sophomore year, students choose from one of the two fields of study, taking more specialized classes, visiting different job sites, and eventually landing a paid internship by senior year.
The 115 students in the freshman class are the pilot group for the program, but aspects of the program, including field trips and job site visits, extend to all 440 students in the school.
"Our students face enormous personal and economic challenges at home, oftentimes causing them to question the importance of going to school at all,” said Jared Jax, the school’s NAF coordinator. “We hope that this program gives our students the motivation and skills necessary to overcome those personal difficulties, become engaged in learning, and ultimately graduate high school after being exposed to the working world."
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