An Engineering Program for California State University of Northridge

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The Introduction to Engineering Program at Oak Park High School is geared toward
upperclassmen and was introduced four years ago by Erik Amerikaner.

The program is run by the California State University of Northridge and is administered by
Amerikaner, who assigns students their work. This work is then graded by CSUN Professor
Anthony McGee.

According to Amerikaner, the program teaches students what it means to be an engineer and
allows them to experiment in topics ranging from photo design to robotics.

“The Engineering Program] gives them an introduction to the world of engineering, what an
engineer does, how to look for a job as an engineer and then we go into some specific programs,”
Amerikaner said.

The program allows juniors and seniors to become more versatile in the STEM field, according
to senior Emily Goldstein.

“It’s pretty broad, so if you’re looking into any kind of STEM field, you get a lot of experience,”
Goldstein said.

Currently, the program has covered the basics of engineering, mainly working with photo-based
software which uses Excel to create spreadsheets.

“So far, we’ve been working with a couple core programs in engineering –– we’ve done stuff
with [spread]sheets. It’s mostly photo design-based software,” Goldstein said.

Students that partake in the program are enrolled as CSUN students and receive college credits
for the course.

“[The program] gives the students two Cal State University credits that they can use at Cal State
or any other university,” Amerikaner said.

There are currently about fifteen students in the program, although Goldstein said that she
believes a small class is just the right size for the course.

“It’s a very good size, especially for group projects like the one we’re in right now,” Goldstein
said. “There’s smaller groups so it’s easier to collaborate with people and get more work in.”

The program also gives students a chance to experience potential future engineering-related jobs
in the STEM field.

“[The program is] a very good way to get experience with the field and learn about different
types of engineering,” Goldstein said.

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