Atlanta Program Introduces Girls to Engineering
Free Summer Camp to Increase Career Opportunities
 
ALEXANDRIA, VA – For the first time in its history, the Summer Engineering Experience for Kids (SEEK) program will operate in Atlanta. The National Society of Black Engineers (NSBE) developed this free program in 2007 to raise the interest of underrepresented minority students in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) in grades K–12, as an important step toward careers in engineering.
 
SEEK offers a diverse, hands-on engineering design curriculum that continues to expand annually. This summer, 150 SEEK students grades 3 through 5 will learn science and engineering concepts while engaging in team competitions during the program. The program will run June 23 to July 11 at Fickett Elementary School and is at no cost to attendees. SEEK participants will have an opportunity to “go green” with a gravity cruiser activity that enables them to deploy engineering tools when designing and racing cars and gliders. SEEK mentors will guide and teach students using curriculum supplied by the International Society of Automotive Engineers (SAE).
 
“For a long time, NSBE wanted to have Atlanta host the NSBE SEEK program and we hope that 2014 is the first of many years we’ll be there,” said NSBE SEEK Director Franklin O. Moore. “The location at Fickett Elementary is ideal for the introduction of this program that encourages young people to consider engineering as a career option.”  Fickett is a neighborhood school located in the heart of the Ben Hill community in Southwest Atlanta. The SEEK Atlanta camp is one of two all-girls programs that NSBE is hosting this summer. This year and last year, the NSBE SEEK Jackson, Mississippi camp’s enrollment was all-girls and features chemical engineering activities.
 
NSBE’s SEEK Atlanta program is sponsored in part by Nissan America. “Through programs like SEEK, students learn that it’s not just about becoming an engineer, working in a lab or building robots,” said Judy Wheeler, vice president of Nissan’s southeast  region. “It’s about developing versatile problem-solving skills that are in high demand.”
“BL Harbert International is honored to partner with an organization that exposes engineering and construction to students at an early age. Generating excitement about the opportunities in this field is what we hope to accomplish by sponsoring the SEEK program,” said Billy Harbert, Chairman and CEO of BL Harbert International.
Funding will go toward stipends and other expenses for collegiate members of NSBE who will serve as SEEK mentors at various sites in 11 cities this summer, including Atlanta.  Nissan Atlanta representatives will host a ride and drive event with SEEK parents and will also judge weekly engineering competitions and mentor the collegiate students who guide and instruct the SEEK participants.
On a recent appearance on the Steve Harvey Morning Show, Sossena Wood, NSBE’s National Chair commented that NSBE is passionate about exposing children and parents to the opportunity of STEM careers.  “Uniting young, passionate and gifted engineering students with a growing pipeline of elementary students with STEM interests creates a majestic moment,” she later explained.  “This natural mentorship is our organization's formula that empowers engineering students to positively impact their communities in a classroom setting.  ”
SEEK Atlanta has also received support for BL Harbert, International, LLC , a construction company based in Alabama. Atlanta Public Schools will provide facilities and a free breakfast and lunch to participating students. Additional sponsorship opportunities are available. Since its inception, SEEK has touched the lives of more than 9,500 young people. In 2014, SEEK programming will be held in Detroit, Philadelphia, New Orleans, San Diego, Oakland, Houston, Denver, Chicago, Washington DC, and Jackson, MS.
To register a student for the free SEEK program, please visit the website here. For additional information, contact NSBE’s SEEK team by e-mail at seek@nsbe.org, or visit www.nsbe.org. Follow @NSBE.



ABOUT NSBE
With more than 30,000 members, the National Society of Black Engineers (NSBE) is one of the largest student-governed organizations in the country. A not-for-profit founded in 1975, NSBE now includes more than 310 collegiate, pre-collegiate and technical professional chapters globally. NSBE’s mission is “to increase the number of culturally responsible black engineers who excel academically, succeed professionally and positively impact the community.”
 
ABOUT NISSAN AMERICA
In North America, Nissan's operations include automotive styling, engineering, consumer and corporate financing, sales and marketing, distribution and manufacturing. Nissan is dedicated to improving the environment under the Nissan Green Program and has been recognized as an ENERGY STAR® Partner of the Year in 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013 and 2014 by the U.S Environmental Protection Agency. More information on Nissan in North America can be found online at www.NissanUSA.com
 
ABOUT BL HARBERT INTERNATIONAL, LLC
BL Harbert International, LLC is a privately owned construction company with U.S. and International operations providing preconstruction, construction, and design-build and construction management services. BL Harbert is currently building across the U.S. and in twelve countries around the world. BL Harbert International, LLC is consistently ranked in the top three green contractors in the state of Alabama. For more information visit, http://www.blharbert.com/