West Virginia University STEM and Edventure created a program where WVU Engineering students get out of the classroom and become the professor for local Preston County School students.
The "PEER Program" will take three WVU engineering students and place them in four schools in Preston County. Schools participating are Preston High School, Bruceton School, Central Preston Middle School and West Preston Middle School.
Colin Frosch, a WVU Junior, said he jumped at the chance to teach high school students what he knows.
"I was absolutely on board with it. I'm very outgoing with the outreach programs at WVU, and I like to go and talk to kids about civil engineering topics," Frosch said. "And I've been doing it for awhile so it was a great opportunity for me to go out and do this sort of thing."
The main focus of the engineering lectures will be on transportation.
The WVU students are all from West Virginia. They will introduce things like how traffic lights and roundabouts deal with engineering.
"Students get the benefit of being introduced to engineering where these things are, things that they learn in math and science are applied, and get a little bit more motivation to learn math and science," said Dr. David Martinelli, with the Peer Program and a professor at WVU. "And they also get the encouragement from students from West Virginia that have gone on to engineering education and succeeded."
The PEER project is funded in part by the USDOT and the National Science Foundation.
Dr. Avinash Unnikrishnan is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering at WVU and is a Co-Principal Investigator on the project.
"One of the most interesting aspect of this project is the opportunity for WVU students to share their WVU experience and give back to the community," Unnikrishnan said. "It was rewarding to see their passion for the project."
Frosch said that making the transition from a student, to a teacher in one day will be difficult but he can handle it.
"Doing a lesson plan was something new for me. So I took lesson plans that we'd used before from in our Transportation Class and I took lesson plans that they've used for the Peer Program in the past. And I based mine off of that," Frosch said. "And took knowledge that I've had from other classes, such as our transportation class."
The Preston County students will be able to sit in on the 90-minute engineering lectures in mid-October. When the WVU students do the lectures in the classroom they will be taped so that the teachers can use them again next year.