Junior Engineering Technical Society (JETS) Program
About the Program:
The Junior Engineering Technical Society (JETS), is a non-profit educational organization that focuses on inspiring and developing a new generation of engineers at the secondary level. In 2008, JETS adopted the recommendations of the National Academy of Engineering Changing the Conversation report by creating and implementing a new three-pronged approach to career discovery in engineering -- Explore, Assess, and Experience. Through various publications, online tools, and nationwide competitions, students in JETS programs are presented the opportunities to: understand how engineers make a difference in our world (Explore); see how their own talents and skills align to engineering majors and occupations (Assess); and participate in exciting real-world based competitions and activities (Experience). JETS programs also have a strong diversity component and seek to expose historically underrepresented populations of students to the possibilities of careers in science, math, and technology.
North Carolina currently has two JETS programs established – one at UNC-Charlotte (UNC-C) and one at East Carolina University (ECU). UNC-C’s program, coordinated by Dr. Steve Kuyath, is the largest in the state and features year-round activities like trebuchet and robotics design competitions for students in the surrounding areas.
The highlight of both JETS programs in North Carolina is the TEAMS competition – a fun, theme based academic event that takes students in grade 9-12 through real life engineering challenges and shows them how their individual creative side, along with a basic background of math and science, can make a difference in today’s ever changing world. This competition truly brings engineering to life by highlighting how everyday engineers make a difference, encouraging creative and critical thinking; promoting teamwork and problem solving skills, and challenging students with new academic topics and content. This one day event includes two parts:
- Part 1 consists of 80 multiple-choice questions
- Part 2 involves eight open-ended questions, or tasks, that students must try to answer. In doing so, students experience why math and science are so important to the engineering curriculum.