Teacher Rodney Meadth, head of the new engineering program at Providence, works with two middle school students in his introduction to engineering class. (Providence photo)

Providence has been awarded two grants that are contributing greatly to the new engineering program headed by Rodney Meadth.

An Energy Partners Fund award of $1,500 funded the purchase of seven new laptop computers and an Edison International grant program called “Computers for the Community” supplied ten refurbished laptops for the engineering classes.

Meadth, who took the lead on applying for these opportunities, expresses great enthusiasm for the potential and progress these grants will provide the fledging program:

“While the fundamental principles of engineering — which we spend the majority of our time doing — are done with pen and paper or by experiment, computers allow students to greatly speed up certain processes, to rapidly work with large amounts of data, and to use numerical methods for certain types of challenging or otherwise unsolvable situations,” Meadth said.

Students involved in this program are excited about the opportunity to create 3D models of objects they are building and using engineering programs to support the physical projects they are creating, such as a model bridge.

These grants serve to sustain Providence’s rigorous academic mission. The materials and funds help create an engaging and more professional environment, allowing students to better understand fundamental principles of engineering.

“The students will be much closer to a first-year college engineering experience,” Meadth said. “I’m excited to think of the creativity that will be expressed in some completely different categories from those which most students at other schools experience.”

Students interested in enrolling in the Providence Engineering Academy, launching in fall 2015, may contact Meadth (rmeadth@providencesb.org) for an application. Applications for admission to Providence can be found by clicking here.

— Mallory Mitchell is a student intern for Providence.