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Students walking across campus on an early fall day
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Michael Salerno Photography

SMILE program gets kids excited about college while making new friends

Building model space ships, solar-powered cars and hydraulic cranes would probably be exciting activities for many people, but the elementary, middle and high school students who come to URI every year for engineering challenge days become engaged and inspired young scientists.

Ninety pre-teens came together to build model wind turbines for this year’s Middle School Engineering Challenge Weekend, all while smiling with newfound friends. The teams of students gelled quickly as if they were best friends, even though many of them had only met a few hours beforehand...


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