New Orleans, Louisiana
June 26, 2016
June 26, 2016
August 28, 2016
Minorities in Engineering
An increase in the diversity of the U.S. pipeline for students entering STEM fields is significantly needed. This is especially true for minority and female students interested in pursuing opportunities in STEM careers. The NAME REMOVED University (acronym removed) Case Studies in Science and Engineering Enrichment Lab program is an informal science and engineering education program in its third year of operation. It is a hands-on STEM program that uses guided inquiry and case studies to teach critical process skills for scientific inquiry for middle school female, minority students. The overarching goal is to identify how an all-female environment coupled with informal STEM learning experiences can build female learner’s confidence in science and math. Hence, this intervention seeks to counteract negative gendered stereotypes and peer pressure that middle school girls experience in the 6th – 8th grade level. The program seeks to improve students’ competence and self-efficacy in science and engineering, stimulate an interest in pursuing STEM-related careers, and provide engaging “hands-on/mind-on activities.” The program is divided into two initiatives which include an academic year and weekend academy. A total of 45 middle school students have participated in a 1-week Girls in Science Lab Camp and five half-day Girls in Science and Engineering Weekend Academy activities. For the Girls in Science Lab program, the participants were divided into teams and assigned an environmental science and engineering themed case study to solve during guided laboratory experience. Students were taught how to collect and analyze water samples using university laboratory equipment and presented their findings at the end of the program. The Weekend Academy featured five hands-on, minds-on activities based on engineering and science. Program outcomes data suggests that student’s self-efficacy and confidence in their ability to excel in engineering and science increased. This is especially true for students who participated in two or more STEM outreach activities. This paper will review the program implementation and program outcomes for outreach activities offered by the NAME REMOVED Case Studies in Science and Engineering Enrichment Lab program.
Luster-Teasley, S., & Minor, R. C., & Alford, V. G. (2016, June), After School Matters: Expanding the Time to Engage Minority Middle School Girls in STEM Paper presented at 2016 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, New Orleans, Louisiana. 10.18260/p.26543
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