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A Female-Oriented Capstone Experience: Generations of Engineers Passing the Torch

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2015 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition


Seattle, Washington

Publication Date

June 14, 2015

Start Date

June 14, 2015

End Date

June 17, 2015





Conference Session

Civil Engineering Division Technical Session 8

Tagged Division

Civil Engineering

Tagged Topic


Page Count


Page Numbers

26.38.1 - 26.38.8



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Paper Authors

author page

John V. Tocco J.D. Lawrence Technological University

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A Female-Oriented Capstone Experience: Generations of Engineers Passing the TorchThis paper describes how several students in the undergraduate Civil Engineering programat ________, interested in focusing on diversity and a creating a meaningful experience intheir senior year, formed the first all-female capstone team. The project the team selectedwas the conceptual design of a performance and visual art center for an existing nonprofit“village” that houses physically and emotionally abused girls. Each team member wasresponsible for the design of a component of the project based on her civil engineeringsubdiscipline. An all-female group of industry practitioners agreed to serve as mentors tothe capstone team throughout the project cycle. With significant input from thepractitioner-mentors, the students designed the project and not only presented to facultyand advisory board members, they also presented to the local chapter of a female-basedconstruction industry association. Most importantly, the students evolved from mentees tomentors. They shared their knowledge of civil engineering, their work on the capstoneproject, and their college experiences through presentations and STEM activities withgroups of middle school-aged, at-risk girls at the village. Thus, the girls were providedwith two rare experiences: they learned about civil engineering concepts and how theyapply to their everyday lives, and the girls were also able to interact with confident andcaring female mentors who demonstrated that opportunities are unlimited for women incollege and in industry.Keywords: mentor, female, STEM, capstone

Tocco, J. V. (2015, June), A Female-Oriented Capstone Experience: Generations of Engineers Passing the Torch Paper presented at 2015 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, Seattle, Washington. 10.18260/p.23379

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