Broadening Participation


Each fall, students are encouraged to participate in a two-day IHAWKe-a-Thon . This intensive design and build competition focuses on using engineering and computing to solve an assigned challenge. Students form into multidisciplinary teams to use creative engineering to develop prototypes to help people and change the world. This event is an opportunity for students to engage in the engineering thinking and design process to develop a solution for the community need. IHAWKe-a-Thons are student driven and often include partnerships with industry leaders.

IHAWKe-A-Thon Student Project

Engineering Grand Challenges Competitions

Through participation in the National Academy of Engineering’s Global Grand Challenges competitions, students have the opportunity to travel the country and the world to participate in events that mix innovation, design and business development while addressing a major challenges facing society and the planet. Participating in the competitions helps students gain a broader world view, develop confidence in public speaking and presenting and better prepares them to start their careers.

Engineering competition participants

McNair Scholars

The McNair Scholars Program is designed to prepare low-income, first-generation and underrepresented minority students for graduate study. The program provides intensive research and scholarly engagement along with academic and financial support to sophomores, juniors and seniors. As a McNair Scholar, students work with faculty mentors and have access to tutoring, research funding, GRE test preparation and application support for graduate school.

Student graduating

Emerging Scholars

The Emerging Scholars Program provides research experiences for low-income students their first year at KU and supports their overall transition to college. Students are paid to work for a faculty member as a research assistant and to participate in professional development sessions.  

Students graduating