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A Female-Only Camp for STEM Disciplines

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2013 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition


Atlanta, Georgia

Publication Date

June 23, 2013

Start Date

June 23, 2013

End Date

June 26, 2013



Conference Session

Outreach to K-12 Females

Tagged Division

K-12 & Pre-College Engineering

Page Count


Page Numbers

23.41.1 - 23.41.12

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Paper Authors


Muhittin Yilmaz Texas A&M University-Kingsville (TAMUK)

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Dr. Muhittin Yilmaz received a B.S. in Electrical and Electronics Engineering from Gazi University at Ankara, Turkey, and the M.Sc. and Ph.D. degrees in Electrical Engineering from Pennsylvania State University at University Park. He has been an assistant professor with the Electrical Engineering and Computer Science Department, Texas A&M University-Kingsville (TAMUK) since 2007. His research interests include robust and control system optimization, model identification and validation, robotics, computer architecture, electric drives, and power electronics. He also conducts research on engineering education concepts and STEM outreach camps. Dr. Yilmaz is a member of the Eta Kappa Nu Electrical Engineering Honor Society, IEEE and ASEE.

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Nuri Yilmazer Texas A&M University, Kingsville

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Nuri Yilmazer received the B.S. in electrical and electronics engineering from Cukurova University at Adana, Turkey in 1996, and M.S. and Ph.D. degrees in electrical and computer engineering from University of Florida and Syracuse University in 2000 and 2006, respectively. He worked as a post-doctoral research associate in the Computational Electromagnetics Laboratory at Syracuse University from 2006 to 2007. He is currently working as an assistant professor in Electrical Engineering and Computer Science department at Texas A&M University at Kingsville. His current research interests include adaptive array processing, signal processing, and smart antennas.

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Eusebio Cuellar Torres Texas A&M University-Kingsville

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Torres earned his B.S. in Secondary Education from Texas A&M University in 1978, and then earned his M.S. in Occupational Training and his M.S. in Educational Administration Development both from Texas A&M University at Corpus Christi in 1992 and 1995, respectively.
Torres was the principal at Banquete Jr. High from 2001 to 2010. Then he was a recruiter in the College of Nursing at Texas A&M University at Corpus Christi from 2010 to 2012. Torres is currently an outreach coordinator with the College of Engineering at Texas A&M University at Kingsville.

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Tamara Denise Guillen Texas A&M University-Kingsville

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A Female-Only Camp for STEM DisciplinesUnderrepresentation of Hispanics and Women in Science, Technology, Engineering, andMathematics (STEM) disciplines has generated extensive number of outreach activities toaddress apparent shortage of STEM interests in early stages. The current female-only STEMcamp goal was to attract and retain high school students, in an underserved region of ___ withmajority Hispanic population, to all STEM fields by providing hands-on exposure. This paperdescribes a K-12 summer camp for female students and evaluates the camp effectiveness.The ____ (___) summer camp provided a week-long hands-on learning experience on variousSTEM subjects for teams of three-four female students under close faculty and graduate assistantsupervision in the __ (___) university laboratories. The camp took place on the ___ campusduring July 16-20, 2012, and included majority Hispanic female high school students from anumber of regional school districts. The camp advertisement used traditional and online sources.The application packages were verified to comply with the sponsoring agency eligibilityrequirements and were evaluated in terms of core subject grade-point average, an essay to stateeducational goals, and school attendance. The camp participants were trained on laboratorysafety, a prerequisite to conduct laboratory activities, while the student parents were given acampus tour. Eight STEM projects from electrical, computer, environmental, mechanical,industrial, chemical, and civil engineering disciplines were developed to expose the students tovarious engineering disciplines, to promote student enthusiasm for the associated disciplines andto offer maximum hands-on experience for fundamental engineering concepts in daily life items.A field trip to an industrial facility provided valuable STEM-related discussions among thestudents and the plant engineers, and offered insights about practical engineering operations.Professional engineers, several K-12 school officials as well as undergraduate/graduate studentswere invited to address to and interact with the camp participants about STEM career optionsduring the luncheons. Training on notebook documentation and poster preparation was providedto the camp participants. Teams maintained notebooks to document all project activities,reinforcing teamwork, communication and writing skills, and prepared a poster about campprojects. The camp competition included notebook judging by the project faculty and graduateassistants and team poster presentation judging by qualified external personnel when manyparents/teachers were present. In addition, the ______ engineering departments, admission,financial aid, and housing office presentations prepared the students, parents, and guardians forthe college life by offering STEM career perspectives and essential application information.The camp surveys and competitions proved the program effectiveness. As the daily surveysindicated successful camp execution, the final camp survey verified the success of the camp tomotivate students to engineering disciplines, e.g., out of 27 female participants, 25 of whomwere Hispanic, 17 students stated that they would like to pursue a degree in engineering becauseof their participation in the summer camp while rest of the participants indicating Mathematics(3) and Chemistry (6). Moreover, 26 out of 27 students responded to the ‘My participation in theGEMS Summer Camp has changed my opinion towards engineering” as ‘Agree’ or ‘StronglyAgree’. In addition, the participants improved their oral presentation, teamwork anddocumentation skills, and benefitted considerably from _____ departmental, admission, financialaid, and housing presentations as well as luncheon speakers. The notebook and postercompetition scores demonstrated superior subject comprehension by student teams.

Yilmaz, M., & Yilmazer, N., & Torres, E. C., & Guillen, T. D. (2013, June), A Female-Only Camp for STEM Disciplines Paper presented at 2013 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, Atlanta, Georgia.

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