MEEEP collaborating with student orgs, community


Image: Katie Atkinson

Junior and President of Mercer’s Entrepreneurship Engineering Education Program, Ben Kasson, looks forward to increase the presence of MEEEP on campus this year through collaboration with students and organizations across various fields. 

Katie Atkinson, Staff Writer

Mercer’s Entrepreneurship Engineering Education Program (MEEEP) is aiming to bring students together this year through collaborations across multiple fields. Junior and President of MEEEP Ben Kasson recognizes the lack of discussion occurring among students on campus.

“We have so many groups all over Mercer’s campus. They all have similar goals, and yet they are not collaborating. It’s silly,” said Kasson. “We’re looking to bring people together from multiple technical and other contexts who look at problems differently and try to solve problems differently. We want to get them in the same room, same place to attack problems in ways that they wouldn’t have come up with by themselves.”

For Kasson, a large component of this is setting up a conversation between Mercer students and local organizations.  Most recently, MEEEP has been working with Mercer’s Robotics Club on a project concerning Real Impact.  This Macon-based organization seeks to inspire and ready young women for STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math) careers. On Sept. 4, MEEEP and the robotics club joined together to organize a speaking event in order to recruit volunteers for Real Impact.

“[The event] was good.  We had a fair crowd show up and got a lot of sign-ups for volunteers which is the main reason we are doing this collaboration to begin with,” said Kasson.  “We want to be able to have more technically literate people show up and help these kids.”

Currently, the clubs are spearheading an education program that will help prepare Real Impact’s own robotics team for a Lego First League competition to be held this December.  

“All of these concepts we have to teach to the kids are pretty complicated.  But, these kids are getting to learn in a context where they get to ask as many questions as they want and do it with their friends and try to have a fun time with it,” said Kasson.  “It’s something that they wouldn’t be able to do in a public school setting.”

Kasson says he hopes to expand MEEEP’s presence even further on campus this year.  One project he says he hopes to tackle involves engineering students working with the art department’s 3D printers.

“There are probably hundreds of engineering students walking around on campus every day who have been using the software that is relevant to these machines,” said Kasson.  “They aren’t getting an opportunity to use that knowledge in any context other than a classroom, other than a hypothetical format.”

Beyond that, Kasson says MEEEP is currently talking with Quadworks in order to set up more live music events on campus.

“There are a lot of musicians at Mercer it seems like a sham to only have one concert every year.  Hopefully, we will have at least one this semester and one next semester,” said Kasson. “These are projects that are sort of on the drawing board still.  They’re becoming real, we’re talking to people.  It’s going to happen.”

Overall, Kasson looks forward to having MEEEP become a larger presence on campus.

“I’ve never really had the chance to lead a collaborative like this before so it’s keeping me on my toes, I really like it,” said Kasson.  “We have a lot planned for the year.”