Asee peer logo

A Comprehensive Model for Motivating and Preparing Under-represented Students, Educators and Parents in Science, Engineering, and Technology

Download Paper |


2014 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition


Indianapolis, Indiana

Publication Date

June 15, 2014

Start Date

June 15, 2014

End Date

June 18, 2014



Conference Session

Beyond Students: Issues of Underrepresentation among Parents and Professionals

Tagged Division

Minorities in Engineering

Page Count


Page Numbers

24.36.1 - 24.36.19



Permanent URL

Download Count


Request a correction

Paper Authors


Araceli Martinez Ortiz Texas State University, San Marcos

visit author page

Araceli Martinez Ortiz, Ph.D, is Assistant Professor of Engineering Education in the College of Education at Texas State University. She teachers graduate courses in the Department of Curriculum and Instruction and collaborates on various state and national STEM teacher professional development programs and pre-engineering student outreach programs.

Araceli holds a B.S. in Industrial Engineering from the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor and a M.S. degree in manufacturing management from Kettering University. After a career in engineering, she completed a master’s degree in education from Michigan State University and began fieldwork as a teacher. She gained full certification as a mathematics public school teacher and administrator in Massachusetts and Texas. Later, Araceli completed a PhD in Engineering Education from Tufts University while employed at the Museum of Science in Boston, as the first lead curriculum developer of the Engineering is Elementary curriculum that integrates science, engineering and literacy for elementary students.

In 2013, she was named Director of the Texas State University LBJ Institute for STEM Education and Research. Her research interests include studying the role of engineering as a curricular context and problem-based learning as an instructional strategy to facilitate students’ mathematics and science learning. She works with teachers and students from traditionally underserved populations and seeks to understand challenges and solutions to support student academic readiness for college and career success.


visit author page

Download Paper |


2014 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition / Minorities in Engineering DivisionAttracting young MINDS - outreach and recruitment of minority engineering students (K-12)   A Comprehensive Model for Motivating and Preparing Under-represented Students, Educators and Parents in Science, Engineering and Technology AbstractA  comprehensive  informal  learning  STEM  outreach  program  for  kindergarten  through  grade  4  (K-­‐4)  students  is  described  along  with  the  program’s  theory  of  change  and  findings  based  on  the  participation  of  more  than  200  urban  minority  students  and  their  parents  over  a  four-­‐year  period.  This  NSF-­‐funded  informal  learning  program  was  grounded  in  parental  engagement  theory  of  planned  behavior  and  integrated  both  active-­‐learning  pedagogies  and  in-­‐situ  professional  development  for  teachers.  A  unique  age-­‐appropriate  science,  engineering  and  technology  integrated  curriculum  was  delivered  as  a  series  of  Saturday  workshops  set  in  a  community  science  museum.  Each  year,  cohorts  of  K-­‐3  African  American  and  Hispanic  students  and  their  parents  participated  in  eight  3-­‐hour  workshops  comprised  of  student/parent  sessions  of  hands-on science and engineering activities as well asseparate parent awareness and development sessions in STEM education and technology skilldevelopment.    The aim of this program has been to increase the participation of underrepresented groups in thescience, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) fields by attending to students earlyin the educational process. To accomplish this, the program has been guided by the followinggoals: to increase the knowledge, skills, and interest of K–3 students from underrepresentedpopulation groups in STEM fields; to increase parents’ knowledge and skills in science andengineering and their capacity to support their children in pursuing education and careers in thesefields; and to increase the effectiveness of teachers in engaging students and parents in theSaturday science-related learning activities.Mixed methods research methodology has been used to measure the program’s contribution tothe advancement of the program goals. Learning, motivational, and efficacy outcomes have beenmeasured with pre and post student, teacher and parent survey instruments. This program hasincorporated major findings of more than 10-years of research that suggests that improvingchildren’s academic outcomes are much more effective when the family is actively engaged.This program has offered opportunities for parents to work along side their children; providedstrategies promoting positive parental/child engagement; and provided ongoing training andprofessional development for project teachers. Young minority children have been exposed toAfrican American, Latino, and women scientists and engineers through personal contact atspecial events, and via a featured program website section.Preliminary evaluation findings based on pre and post surveys, interviews, and observationaldata will be presented that indicate this program is helping parents and students persist in theprogram for multiple years and is motivating positive changes in student content understandingand career motivation.

Ortiz, A. M. (2014, June), A Comprehensive Model for Motivating and Preparing Under-represented Students, Educators and Parents in Science, Engineering, and Technology Paper presented at 2014 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, Indianapolis, Indiana. 10.18260/1-2--19928

ASEE holds the copyright on this document. It may be read by the public free of charge. Authors may archive their work on personal websites or in institutional repositories with the following citation: © 2014 American Society for Engineering Education. Other scholars may excerpt or quote from these materials with the same citation. When excerpting or quoting from Conference Proceedings, authors should, in addition to noting the ASEE copyright, list all the original authors and their institutions and name the host city of the conference. - Last updated April 1, 2015