Viterbi aims to work with local schools

Faculty and students from the Viterbi School of Engineering will collaborate with K-12 schools in the Los Angeles area through the Viterbi Adopt-a-School, Adopt-a-Teacher outreach program, according to a statement released last week.

The program will work to provide K-12 science, technology, engineering and mathematics students and teachers with an opportunity to connect with college students and Viterbi faculty.

Through VAST, the university hopes to encourage mentorship, support instruction, play an active role in the classroom and provide K-12 faculty with training and development opportunities, according to the statement.

“This is an as-yet untapped resource that will bring the two communities together in ways that will benefit all,” said Maja Mataric, professor and vice dean for research at Viterbi.

And the opportunity will be beneficial for both of the communities Mataric mentions: the college and the surrounding schools and students.

VAST has been designed so that all the participants will benefit from their involvement, according to a statement. The program, which will encourage all Viterbi faculty to be involved, will foster community outreach and a love and understanding of science and engineering for a new generation of students. In addition, Viterbi students who participate in the program will be able to polish their own skills by mentoring younger students.

Isaaca Hoglen, a freshman majoring in biomedical engineering, said the program will be fulfilling because the work that participants put into it serves to benefit others.

“You’re not working with a professor to advance your knowledge, you’re helping other people advance their knowledge,” Hoglen said.

VAST will be launching a new social networking site to encourage students to form connections with one another, according to the statement.