Bay Area universities take part in engineering initiative

March 14, 2012 8:59:30 PM PDT
At least two Bay Area universities are taking part in a nationwide motivational event today organized by President Barack Obama to encourage students to pursue engineering degrees.

Santa Clara University and the University of California at Berkeley are among the schools hosting viewing parties for the event, put together by Obama's Council on Jobs and Competitiveness.

The "Stay With It" campaign is part of an effort to address the country's shortage of engineers and graduates with degrees in scientific fields in general.

Only 14 percent of U.S. undergraduates are currently studying science, technology, engineering and mathematics, and after the first year of college, 40 percent of students in those fields switch majors, according to the White House.

The president recently announced an initiative to train an additional 10,000 engineering graduates each year to boost the nation's competitiveness in the global economy.

Obama is partnering with Facebook, MTV and Google for today's event, which is being held at the Georgia Institute of Technology and streamed online.

Speakers at the event, including celebrity and engineer Montel Williams and Intel CEO Paul Otellini, will share personal stories and motivational messages to "stay with it" when pursuing an engineering degree.

At Santa Clara University today, students will gather at noon at the school's Benson Memorial Center to watch the event via the FacebookLive stream at

The presidential council has also designated today as "National Day of Engineering" and plans to unveil a new community of resources for engineering students.

More information about the campaign, and motivational messages from company CEOs and celebrities such as Will Smith, can be found at

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