Camp REACH Girls Will Present Engineering Projects And Meet Former Astronaut Al Sacco Friday a

Contact: Arlie Corday WPI Media & Community Relations

WORCESTER, Mass. - For the past two weeks, 30 local girls have taken on design projects to help the community while learning about the world of engineering. This Friday, Aug. 4, they will present the results to their project sponsors - and get to meet a world-famous astronaut at Worcester Polytechnic Institute.

WPI's Camp REACH will hold its final presentations Friday, Aug. 4, at 3 p.m. in Perreault Lecture Hall, located in Fuller Laboratories on the WPI Worcester, Mass., campus. At 4 p.m., former astronaut Al Sacco, now the George A. Snell Chair of Engineering at Northeastern University, will present a keynote address. Sacco, who previously served as head of the chemical engineering department at WPI, has flown and contributed to several NASA space shuttle launches. An internationally recognized expert on zeolite crystal growth, Sacco was a payload specialist aboard the space shuttle Columbia during its 16-day U.S. Microgravity Laboratory-2 mission in 1995.

Camp REACH (Reinventing Engineering and Creating New Horizons) is a residential program for Massachusetts girls who have completed sixth grade and who are interested in learning about engineering and technology. This year three teams tackled design projects including a Web site for the Big Brothers/Big Sisters of Worcester, a toddler playground and a display to be used in new park to honor rocket science pioneer and WPI alumnus Robert Goddard.

The goal of Camp REACH, now in its fourth year, is to develop interest in engineering while building confidence and self-esteem, according to director Denise Nicoletti, associate professor of electrical and computer engineering at WPI.

Founded in 1865, WPI enrolls 2,700 undergraduate and 1,000 graduate students in science, engineering, management, humanities and arts, and social sciences. WPI students complete three projects to fulfill the university's graduation requirements; Camp REACH's hands-on projects are modeled on the same philosophy. For more information, please contact WPI's Outreach Programs office at 508-831-5819.