ADE Director's Communication Memo Form

Memo Number : COM-09-101

Date Created : 01/29/2009


Co-op Directors
Middle School Principals
High School Principals
other: Counselors

Type of Memo: Informational
Response Required: Yes
Section:   Accountability - Dr. Charity Smith, Assistant Commissioner
Nat'l Society of Black Engineers

Regulatory Authority:

Contact Person:
Mr. Jay Hartman

Phone Number:


The National Society of Black Engineers-Arkansas Alumni Extension Chapter (NSBE-AAEC) is pleased to announce that NSBE-AAEC will be conducting the 19th Annual "Project Starting Block" Introduction to Engineering seminar for high school students on February 21, 2009, in conjunction with National Engineers Week. The seminar will be held at the UALR-Dickinson Hall Auditorium, 2801 South University, Little Rock and will begin at 10:00 a.m. and conclude at 1:00 p.m.

Project Starting Block is a four-part mentor program aimed at minority high school students with an interest in engineering; however, all interested students are welcome to attend. The purpose of the program is to inform youth in Arkansas about the field of engineering through seminars, college campus visits, and industry tours. The activities allow students to become familiar with the various engineering disciplines, the educational requirements, and the career opportunities available with Arkansas corporations and agencies. During the Starting Block Introduction to Engineering Seminar, representatives from various Arkansas universities and corporations will present vital information regarding the various fields of engineering, obstacles students face as today's youth, courses that students should take while in high school and preparatory requirements for college life.

"Project Starting Block" has been a success. Over the past eighteen years over 1,080 students have participated in the program. Several graduating seniors from the program have chosen to pursue the field of engineering for collegiate studies. Over the past several years NSBE-AAEC has been able to award thousands of dollars in scholarships to selected high school seniors that participated in "Project Starting Block" and chose to enroll in engineering curriculums.

"Project Starting Block" originated in 1990 and was designed to acquaint high school students, primarily freshman, sophomores, and juniors, with multi-disciplined engineering activities. NSBE-AAEC requests assistance in identifying students interested in science, technology, engineering, or math (STEM) areas to participate in the program. With the low number of minorities in the field of engineering, NSBE-AAEC is particularly targeting minority students with the program.

Please distribute copies of the enclosed student packet to students that may be interested. It is requested that all signed student data forms be submitted to the above address by February 13, 2009. A student form is enclosed in the student packet. Also enclosed in the packet is a synopsis of "Project Starting Block" for students and parents. Direct questions to Mr. Jay Hartman at 501-396-4932 before 5:00 p.m. or at 501-448-2504 after 5:00 p.m.


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