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A career as an Engineer: Participant Perception and Attitude before and after an Engineering Summer Camp for Project Discovery Talent Search students at ___________ University (Evaluation)

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2022 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition


Minneapolis, MN

Publication Date

August 23, 2022

Start Date

June 26, 2022

End Date

June 29, 2022

Conference Session

PCEE Session 11: Engineering Outreach / Summer Programs

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Paper Authors


Joseph Tang Western Carolina University

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Joseph Tang is an assistant professor at the College of Engineering and Technology at Western Carolina University

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Nelson Granda Marulanda Western Carolina University

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Nelson A. Granda Marulanda is an Assistant Professor in the School of Engineering + Technology at Western Carolina University. Nelson has a BS in Electrical Engineering from the University of Puerto Rico at Mayaguez, a Masters in Manufacturing Engineering from the Polytechnic University of Puerto Rico, and a Ph.D. in Industrial and Systems Engineering from The University of Tennessee Knoxville. Before becoming a professor, he worked for several years in the Eolic and Aerospace industry. Nelson’s research interest revolved around Sustainable Development through the triple bottom line and System Thinking approach. Nelson believes that education is the key to achieving a sustainable world.

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JennieV. Sorrells Western Carolina University

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Robert Pierce Western Carolina University

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This paper reports the experiences and findings from an engineering summer camp for low-income and first-generation college-bound high school students held at Western Carolina University in July 2021.  The aim of the camp was to motivate the students to consider college education and a career in engineering.  Further rationale for this camp is described, and an overview of the camp program and demographics provided.   A pre- and post-intervention survey was also designed and described in this paper to assess participant perception and attitude towards an engineering education and career, which consists of a mix of both quantitative and qualitative responses.  The pre- and post-camp results of the survey are reported and some statistical conclusions drawn.  One noteworthy, albeit disappointing, result is that no statistically significant evidence was observed of improvement in participant perceptions towards the difficulty of an engineering education over the course of this summer camp.  However, this is due in part perhaps to the relatively low number of camp participants and thus small sample size, though there was a slight improvement in interest toward an engineering career.  Further discussion is given on the effectiveness of the camp’s aims, on some general camp design and planning lessons learned by the organizers in conducting the camp, and on the survey methodology and results.

Tang, J., & Granda Marulanda, N., & Sorrells, J., & Pierce, R. (2022, August), A career as an Engineer: Participant Perception and Attitude before and after an Engineering Summer Camp for Project Discovery Talent Search students at ___________ University (Evaluation) Paper presented at 2022 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, Minneapolis, MN. 10.18260/1-2--40412

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