June 20, 2010
June 20, 2010
June 23, 2010
K-12 & Pre-College Engineering
15.76.1 - 15.76.13
A Pre-Engineering Program to Motivate High School Students Towards Engineering Abstract
A pre-engineering program has been developed by The University of Michigan-Flint for high school students in the Lapper County Intermediate School District (LCISD) to motivate towards engineering or other STEM disciplines during their undergraduate study. A cohort of approximately twenty students from five different high schools was enrolled in four different engineering and computer science courses. These courses, offered at Lapeer Technology Center, provided a classroom environment similar to high school, using instructional materials relating that are relevant in engineering education.
A survey questionn perception and motivation towards engineering, and whether the pre-engineering program motivated them towards engineering or other STEM disciplines. Classroom observation and changes in participation were also made during the courses, to evaluate the level of motivation. The number of students from the first year pre-engineering cohort that pursued engineering or STEM undergraduate education is also presented in this paper demonstrating the impact of the program.
To sustain technological leadership in the competitive global economic environment, significant improvements in K-12 outreach must be made to attract and motivate more students toward engineering and science education. The United States has been at the forefront of innovation in the past century. As the advent of technologies is bringing the world closer, United states is facing exponentially increasing level of challenge in the global platform, where emerging economies are shaping the future global leadership. To this end, we need to nurture the youth of this nation to ensure that the rate of technological innovation increases at a phenomenal pace, more so than it was in the past few decades.
Innovation and creativity in development of future technological breakthrough requires the motivation of current high school students to focus more towards science and technology. A number of pre-engineering programs have been developed across the nation during the past few decades to encourage students to consider engineering and science as career choices. Although the programs showed an increased level of interest towards STEM disciplines, those initiatives are less than adequate as we are still seeing declines in enrollment in STEM disciplines. To address the projected critical shortage of future scientists and engineers in the USA, a pre- engineering program was developed at University of Michigan-Flint in collaboration with a local rural school district for a limited number of high school students. This program was designed to encourage high school students to consider engineering as their chosen field of study. A unique feature of the program is the level of mentoring provided to the students by the engineering professor and senior undergraduate engineering students. Weekly tutoring sessions were also conducted by the engineering professor and senior engineering student, in addition to the content delivery of the classes. Students were also encouraged to use online discussion board to
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