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A Summer STEM Camp for High School Female Students

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2016 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition


New Orleans, Louisiana

Publication Date

June 26, 2016

Start Date

June 26, 2016

End Date

June 29, 2016





Conference Session

K-12 & Pre-College Engineering Division: Evaluation: Exploring the Impact of Summer Programs on K-12 Youth (Part 1)

Tagged Division

Pre-College Engineering Education Division

Tagged Topic


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Paper Authors


Afrin Naz West Virginia University Institute of Technology

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Dr. Afrin Naz is an assistant professor at the Computer Science and Information Systems department at West Virginia University Institute of Technology. She is working with high school teachers to inspire the K-12 students to the STEM fields. In last four years Dr. Naz and her team launched six workshops for high school teachers. Currently her team is training the high school teachers to offer online materials to supplement their face-to-face classroom.

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Kenan Hatipoglu West Virginia University Institute of Technology

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Kenan Hatipoglu is an assistant professor at Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering at West Virginia University Institute of Technology. He completed his Master of Science degree in Electrical Engineering at University of Louisville, Kentucky in 2008 and joined Tennessee Tech University in 2009 to pursue his Ph.D. in Electrical (Power) Engineering. He completed his graduate study in August 2013. He received his Bachelor’s degree in Electrical Education from Department of Electrical Education in Faculty of Technical Education and Technology Engineering at Marmara University, Istanbul, Turkey in 2005. His current research interests include smartgrid and microgrid applications, power system control, renewable energy resources and power electronics.

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Mingyu Lu West Virginia University Institute of Technology

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Mingyu Lu received the B.S. and M.S. degrees in electrical engineering from Tsinghua University, Beijing, China, in 1995 and 1997 respectively, and the Ph.D. degree in electrical engineering from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign in 2002. From 1997 to 2002, he was a research assistant at the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering in the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. From 2002 to 2005, he was a postdoctoral research associate at the Electromagnetics Laboratory in the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. He was an assistant professor with the Department of Electrical Engineering, the University of Texas at Arlington from 2005 to 2012. He joined the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering, West Virginia University Institute of Technology in 2012 and he is currently an associate professor. His current research interests include wireless power transmission, radar systems, microwave remote sensing, antenna design, and computational electromagnetics. He was the recipient of the first prize award in the student paper competition of the IEEE International Antennas and Propagation Symposium, Boston, MA in 2001. He served as the chair of Antennas and Propagation Society of IEEE Fort Worth Chapter from 2006 to 2011.

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A Summer STEM Camp for High School Female Students (Research-to-Practice, Strand 4)

U.S. Census Bureau’s 2011 American Community Survey indicates that females are significantly underrepresented in STEM (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics) areas. Specifically, only 13 percent of engineers are women, and women constitute only a quarter of the workforce in computer and mathematical sciences. In order to address this deficiency, several universities had successfully initiated pilot programs for middle school and high school female students, such as “C-STEM Girl Camp” at University of California at Davis, “Programming4Girls” at Carnegie Mellon University, and “Robocamp” at University of North Texas.

In the summer of 2015, a Summer STEM Camp was organized at _____________ University with the objective of inspiring female high school students’ interest in STEM disciplines and encouraging them to choose STEM as their college major. Twenty-four (24) female high school students participated in the Summer STEM Camp. During the five-day camp, they learned about fundamental knowledge of science and engineering, were exposed to cutting-edge technologies, and conducted multiple mini-projects. The participating female high school students stayed on university campus during the Summer STEM Camp. They had extensive interactions with female college students, female professors, and female professionals (invited as guest speakers). They also met Ms. ______________ (President of _____________ University), Ms. ___________________ (Science Coordinator of Office of Secondary Learning, ___________ Department of Education), and Ms. _____________ (President of ____________ Inc, primary sponsor of the camp), who shared their personal stories about how females excel in STEM fields with the participants.

Contents and format of the Summer STEM Camp was particularly tailored for girl participants. For instance, after learning the biomechanics of human foot, the participating girls were asked to design a shoe that would be comfortable, practical, as well as fashionable. As another example, in the chemistry class, the girls made cosmetics for their own use. Moreover, parents were invited to attend a picnic and the girls’ presentations on the last day of the camp. A range of information related to STEM majors (such as job opportunities and availability of scholarships) was provided to the parents and the parents are expected to play a more constructive role when their daughters choose college majors.

Assessment was conducted primarily via a series of surveys before and after the camp, to the participating high school girls as well as their parents. Comparison between the pre-camp and post-camp survey data reveals increase in the participating girls’ interest in taking STEM as their college major. Our collected data reveals that only 26% of the parents are in STEM fields. Surveys collected after the camp reveal that the camp was well received by the participating girls and their parents. As an example, one girl said she had originally planned to attend a co-ed STEM Camp, but changed her mind when she heard about this camp for girls. “In engineering and science fields you’re always going to be outnumbered by guys, so I liked how it focused more on the impact that women can have and the job opportunities women have,” she commented.

Naz, A., & Hatipoglu, K., & Lu, M. (2016, June), A Summer STEM Camp for High School Female Students Paper presented at 2016 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, New Orleans, Louisiana. 10.18260/p.26451

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