J.B. Speed School of Engineering offers summer workshop for high - WDRB 41 Louisville News

J.B. Speed School of Engineering offers summer workshop for high school students

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LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- Engineering is a profession in need of young people. A new summer workshop aims to get high school students involved and looking at the possibility of a career in the field. 

"I am sort of wired in two different ways, I really like engineering and I like creative writing," Riley Fitzgerald says.

The Atherton High School senior thinks she wants to be an engineer like her father. 

But to help her make sure that's what she wants, Riley is attending the three week summer enrichment program now underway at the J.B. Speed School of Engineering.

"I thought what better way to decide if I actually want to become an engineer than to go to engineering camp," says Riley.

The camp is called INSPIRE. It's open to all students who have above average grades in their math and science classes. 

But the program focuses on minority and female students, who traditionally are under represented in the engineering profession.

"A good part of society tells us we can't be engineers because we are women," Riley says, "that is not good, not good at all but I do think it is changing."

INSPIRE program director Jonathan Hughes says the field needs a bit of PR help. 

"Engineering is a field that is not glamorized in our society," says Hughes, "one of the problems we face is the lack of engineers."

INSPIRE also shows the students the personal benefits of becoming an engineer.

"Our job is to really go out and push engineering as a career," adds Hughes, "to really let the students understand the types of jobs available, how in demand such jobs are, and how good the salaries are, how much engineers are sought after by companies." 

On Tuesday, the second day of the camp, the students were assembling a quartz crystal clock.

The summer workshop is free to the students. 

Louisville spirits maker Brown-Forman Corp. is picking up most of the cost of the camp to encourage what could be the next generation of engineers.

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