Villanova engineering students often seek to apply their skills outside the classroom – from mentoring the next generation of engineers to providing much-needed solutions to communities in developing countries. With help from Lockheed Martin, which recently contributed $10,000 to support two long-standing College service-learning opportunities, more students will have the chance to make a lasting impact on those around them.
“We’re grateful to our partners at Lockheed Martin, who have embraced the College’s mission of developing technically excellent engineers who understand the role engineers can play in advancing society for many years,” says Dr. Gary A. Gabriele, Drosdick Endowed Dean of the College of Engineering.
Half of Lockheed Martin’s contribution will go toward strengthening VESTED (Villanova Engineering and Science Technology Enrichment Development Program), through which Villanova engineering students mentor high school students from the Philadelphia area to help increase their technical literacy and provide the students with valuable, real-world experience in technology. VESTED is a cornerstone of the College’s STEM outreach initiative, which is designed to help improve local middle and high school students’ interest and ability in science, technology, engineering, and math subjects.
The other half will support the mission of the Villanova Chapter of Engineers Without Borders, an international, non-profit organization that partners with communities worldwide to improve their quality of life. Villanova engineering students have lent their skills to communities as far away as Thailand and Kenya, where projects have included design and implementation of water distribution systems for reliable, clean drinking water. Closer to home, Villanova students installed playground equipment in a neighborhood ravaged by Hurricane Katrina in New Orleans and built ramps for the award blocks that participants in the Special Olympics use to receive their awards more easily when Villanova hosts the event each fall.