Bridging the digital Divide - globally and Locally

From West Philadelphia to West Africa, from Quito, Ecuador to Pune, India, Penn Engineering students are on a mission to bridge the technology gap in low-income urban areas here at home and around the world.

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Learning Networks: Students from Across the Nation Gather at Penn

This year, Penn Engineering, along with the Nursing School and the School of Arts and Sciences, was host to high school students from 12 states who came to exhibit their research and learn about the opportunities that abound in Science, Math and Technology here at Penn.

At the 16th annual Student Research Symposium organized by the National Consortium of Specialized Secondary Schools in Math, Science and Technology (NCSSSMST), 52 students and 22 teachers from across the country had the opportunity to give 20-minute research presentations and to participate in workshops given by the hosting schools.  Penn Engineering sponsored workshops in Robotics and in Computer Graphics.  Joseph Bordogna, Professor of Electrical and Systems Engineering and former Deputy Director of the National Science Foundation, was the keynote speaker at the closing banquet held at the Inn at Penn.

The mission of consortium, the nation's foremost alliance of schools dedicated to transforming mathematics, science, and technology education, is to create synergies among schools engaged in educational innovation by shaping national policy, fostering collaboration and developing, testing, implementing, and disseminating exemplary programs.  The consortium was established in 1988 to provide a forum for schools to exchange information and program ideas and to evolve alliances between them.

Penn Engineering is delighted to be a partner with NCSSSMST in meeting the challenges of K-12 STEM education, supporting the nation’s best and brightest youth as they pursue careers in engineering, math, and science.

Think you want to be an engineer?  Connect with Penn Engineering!


Outreach takes many forms at Penn Engineering. Our students and faculty engage with local students in the Philadelphia and surrounding areas to get students interested in science, technology, engineering and math. We host fun events for local students like the annual First Lego League Competition. During the summer, Penn Engineering becomes home to students from all over the world who are interested in pursuing careers in engineering and related fields. Penn Engineering also participates in several international public service projects and events.

To find out more in-depth information about the many forms of outreach conducted through Penn Engineering, read below.

School Programs in Philadelphia and the Region

for High School Students:

Engineering Summer Academy at Penn (ESAP)
The School of Engineering at the University of Pennsylvania offers a unique opportunity for a selective group of highly motivated and talented high school students to experience rigorous and challenging college-level coursework. The Academy’s intensive, three-week programs combine sophisticated theory with hands-on practical experience in cutting edge technologies such as biotechnology, computer graphics, computer science, nanotechnology, robotics, or technology and development. Read more…

M&T Summer Institute (M&TSI)
The Management & Technology Summer Institute (M&TSI) is a for-credit summer program for rising high school seniors who want to learn about the integration of technological concepts and management principles. Sponsored by The Jerome Fisher Program in Management and Technology, the School of Engineering and Applied Science, and The Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania, M&TSI features classes taught by leading faculty and successful entrepreneurs, field trips to companies and R&D facilities, intensive team projects, as well as other activities designed to give students the opportunity to learn about the principles and practice of technological innovation. Read more …

Engineering Summer School (ESS)
Engineering Summer School offers courses from the regular course catalog during Summer Sessions I and II. Though Summer Sessions courses are intended for current undergraduates, high school students who demonstrate advanced knowledge and strong academic preparation may apply to attend regular summer sessions. Students graduating from high school in June are eligible to enroll in Summer Session II in the summer following their graduation, especially those who are matriculating into Penn in the following fall semester. It's a great way to get a head start in your university education! Read more…

For Middle School Girls:

Girls in Engineering Math and Science Camp (GEMS)
This is a summer program for middle school girls in 6th, 7th, or 8th grade who will be 7th, 8th or 9th graders the following academic year. Join us for a great week of hands-on science, math, and engineering at Penn! You’ll learn about what’s going on in Bioengineering, Nanotechnology, Materials Science, Graphics and Computing. Over the course of the week, you’ll learn how engineering is part of your every day life. You’ll do experiments with different materials, learn about DNA and work on your own animation project. Read more...

International Programs

Experience in an international setting is something that Penn Engineering strongly encourages students to obtain. By spending time in another country, students learn to see things from another perspective and can develop skills in a hands-on way. Two paths that can be taken to have experiences abroad through Penn are by participating in Service Learning projects, and by spending a semester or a year abroad. Learn more here.

Service-Learning Projects

Service-Learning is an excellent way that students can get involved in community service by applying the knowledge and skills they’ve gained at Penn Engineering. Service Learning is a unique form of outreach, in which the individual performing the service also applies knowledge gained in the classroom in a hands-on way. Learn about opportunities and get involved!

Increasing Access to Women and Minorities

Penn Engineering maintains programs to increase the enrollment and retention of women and underrepresented minorities in the school. The Office of Multicultural Programs implements programs to increase and retain underrepresented minority students, faculty and staff in the school. The Advancing Women in Engineering program is designed to nurture the careers of women in engineering from the moment they arrive on campus as undergraduates. Both of these programs offer mentorship, networking and social opportunities to members of the Penn Engineering community.