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A K-12 Advanced Research Camp for Engineering and Science Disciplines

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2011 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition


Vancouver, BC

Publication Date

June 26, 2011

Start Date

June 26, 2011

End Date

June 29, 2011



Conference Session

Integrating Technical Research into Professional Development and K-12 Classrooms

Tagged Division

K-12 & Pre-College Engineering

Page Count


Page Numbers

22.49.1 - 22.49.11



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Paper Authors

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Muhittin Yilmaz Texas A&M University, Kingsville


Carlos A. Garcia Texas A&M University, Kingsville

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Associate Professor in the Department of Biological and Health Sciences

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Tamara D. Guillen Texas A&M University, Kingsville


David Ramirez Texas A&M University, Kingsville

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Assistant Professor

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A K-12 Advanced Research Camp for Engineering and Science Disciplines__________ offered a number of K-12 engineering summer outreach camps for area students.The main goals of the camps were to attract and retain high school students, particularlyHispanics and females, to all engineering fields by exposing the camp students to differentengineering topics. This paper describes a new type of K-12 summer outreach approach, a week-long advanced research camp on a single engineering or science project, for the high schoolstudents who already attended the previous summer camps.The _______ (ESF) summer camp offered a week-long hands-on research experience on a singlesubject for teams of three students under close faculty supervision in university laboratories. Thecamp took place on the _______ campus during July 19-23, 2010, and included 33 students fromregional high schools involving 13 different school districts with 76% female and 25 Hispanics.The invitation-only applications from students who already participated in previous summercamps at the same institution were evaluated by the camp leadership team in terms of coresubject grade-point average, demographics, an essay to state educational goals, and schoolattendance. The participants were trained on laboratory safety, a prerequisite to conduct research.Eleven engineering and science projects from electrical, environmental, mechanical, industrial,chemical, and civil engineering disciplines as well as mathematics, biology, geosciences, andcomputer science departments were developed to expose the students to advanced researchtopics, to promote student enthusiasm for the associated disciplines and to offer maximumhands-on experience for fundamental engineering concepts to daily life items. A field trip to theport of ______ on the last day of the camp offered insights about engineering operations.Professional engineers from representative industries as well as undergraduate/graduate studentswere invited to address to and interact with the camp participants during the luncheons. Anotebook was used to document all research activities by each student team, reinforcingteamwork, communication and writing skills. An oral presentation was prepared and presentedby teams during the final competition when many parents/teachers were present. Furthermore,the ________ engineering and science departments, housing, financial aid, and admission officepresentations prepared the students, parents, and guardians for the college life on the last day ofthe camp by offering detailed perspectives and critical application information.The final camp survey verified the effectiveness of the week-long research camp. Based on thefinal camp survey, 23 students stated that they would like to pursue a degree in engineeringbecause of their participation in the summer camp, indicating the success of the camp to motivatethe students to engineering fields. The camp students favorably verified the improvements onoral presentation (25 out of 33), teamwork (29 out of 33) and documentation skills (23 out of33). Also, 29 out of 33 students rated the ‘My participation in ESF increased my confidence inmy choice of major’ as ‘Agree’ or ‘Strongly Agree’. The helpfulness ratings of the _____housing, admission, and financial aid presentations were all ‘Agree’ or ‘Strongly Agree’ while24 out of 33 stated that the professional speakers provided useful information.

Yilmaz, M., & Garcia, C. A., & Guillen, T. D., & Ramirez, D. (2011, June), A K-12 Advanced Research Camp for Engineering and Science Disciplines Paper presented at 2011 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, Vancouver, BC. 10.18260/1-2--17331

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