Here at TSC, we are tracking the efforts of many of the summer programs out there. And today, we have one that is particularly interesting – The SEEK program (Summer Engineering Experience for Kids). The SEEK program caught our eye not only because of its engaging curriculum and relatively quick growth, but because of its mission. The program, run by the National Society of Black Engineers, aims to expose elementary and middle school students to African-American role models in the engineering world. Since 2007, the program has expanded to six cities and now reaches 3,500 aspiring engineers.

Students in DC, Detroit, Oakland, New Orleans, and other cities may participate in the three-week program free of charge. In addition to expanding students’ skills and knowledge, SEEK helps funnel students into a “STEM pipeline; ” program mentors are African-American college students majoring in STEM disciplines.

In other words, SEEK has something to offer for everyone, from third-graders to college students to the established members of an industry that badly needs to diversify. According to the National Center for Education Statistics, just five percent of STEM-discipline master’s degrees are awarded to African-American students. For Hispanic students, the figure drops to three percent.

With 100 percent of parents reporting that they would recommend SEEK to others, it looks like this program has found a key to summer learning success. We wish SEEK mentors and students all the best for summer 2012.

Charlotte is a summer intern for the Time to Succeed Coalition. She will be a rising junior at Yale University in the fall.