APPLIED ENGINEERING

Students interested in learning more about engineering are encouraged to review the following information regarding MSA’s Applied Engineering Program.  Multiple facets of academia are incorporated into the Applied Engineering Program curriculum all of which are in line with the school mission of a continued emphasis on “mind, hands, and heart”.  A full program description, including required and recommended activities, is listed below.  As you can see, required activities include both academic coursework as well as extra-curricular activities.  

To gain entry into the Applied Engineering Program, students must submit an Applied Engineering Program Application, which includes a brief essay.  Those who complete the program successfully, in addition to meeting MSA graduation requirements, will receive a Certificate of Completion upon graduation.  Additionally, graduates from the Applied Engineering Program will have the distinct advantage of having a robust Applied Engineering Portfolio that may be presented during the selection process to prospective colleges and universities.  This portfolio will allow program graduates the opportunity to showcase the wide-range of engineering-related achievements that they have accomplished during their tenure as MSA Applied Engineering students.

Colleges and Universities are specifically looking for students who have taken full advantage of every opportunity given to them.  The MSA Applied Engineering Program has been uniquely designed to allow students to do just that.  As you can see, AP courses are listed in the required coursework section as strongly recommended.  It is important to note that most engineering colleges expect students to use their STEM-based (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics) AP coursework in high school to add breadth and depth to their academic foundation.  However, most engineering colleges will require students to retake most, if not all, of these STEM-based AP courses in college.  Lastly, it is important to note that obtaining a MSA Applied Engineering Program Certificate of Completion does not guarantee admission into a college-level engineering program.

Goals:

The goal of MSA’s Applied Engineering Program is broad reaching.  Initially, the goal of the program is to inspire and promote curiosity for engineering.  It is through this awareness that students’ perspectives are opened to the wide-reaching avenues of engineering.  After students have been “hooked” on the general notion of engineering, the Applied Engineering Program is designed to expose students to various engineering disciplines from traditional engineering fields such as Civil and Mechanical to more modern engineering fields such as Biomedical, Environmental, and Chemical.  During this process, Applied Engineering students will explore the Engineering Method and how it differs from the Scientific Method.  Additionally, students will learn the basics of 3D CAD (Computer-Aided Design) software and modeling along with its various applications within nearly all engineering fields.  All of these goals culminate in the final goal of preparing students for their upcoming search for a suitable engineering college followed by the academic rigors that await them as they pursue their engineering interests at the next level.

Required Coursework:

  • Applied Engineering - This course is an introduction to the engineering field as a whole including case studies of major engineering feats, Engineering Challenges, the Engineering Method, ancient to modern Engineering Connections, CAD software, engineering ethics, science of materials, presentation skills, technical reading and writing, and modern field focus.

  • Calculus or AP Calculus AB or AP Calculus BC (AP Calculus BC strongly recommended)

  • Physics or AP Physics I (AP Physics I strongly recommended)

  • Chemistry or AP Chemistry (AP Chemistry strongly recommended)

  • Design/Build - This course provides students with experience using a 3D printer as well as learning a computer-aided design (CAD) software.

Required Activities:

  • Applied Engineering Portfolio (typically in electronic format) that showcases their Applied Engineering Program accomplishments

  • Engineering Team including Technology Student Association competitions or Engineering Sponsored Service Group

  • Engineering related field trips including Lake Anna Nuclear Power Plant and PVCC/CBIC Tech Tour

  • January mini-mester (WWOWW) course pertaining to engineering concepts

Recommended Activities:

  • Computer Programming

  • Participation in Society of Women Engineers (SWE) Club (sorry boys, girls only!)

  • University of Virginia SWE High School Visitation and Ladies in the Lab (sorry boys, girls only!)

  • Summer camps

  • Internships and/or Co-ops

  • Additional engineering competitions

  • PVCC STEM Saturdays

  • University of Virginia Engineering Open House

  • Virginia Tech Engineering Open House

  • Tinker!