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After School Matters: Expanding the Time to Engage Minority Middle School Girls in STEM

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2016 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition


New Orleans, Louisiana

Publication Date

June 26, 2016

Start Date

June 26, 2016

End Date

August 28, 2016





Conference Session

Out-of-school-time Engineering: Implications for Underrepresented Students

Tagged Division

Minorities in Engineering

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Paper Authors


Stephanie Luster-Teasley North Carolina A&T State University

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Dr. Stephanie Luster-Teasley is an Associate Professor with a joint appointment in the Departments of Civil, Architectural, and Environmental Engineering, and Chemical, Biological, and Bioengineering. Over the last ten years, Dr. Luster-Teasley has demonstrated excellence in teaching by using a variety of research-based, student-centered, pedagogical methods to increase diversity in STEM. Her teaching and engineering education work has resulted in her receiving the 2013 UNC Board of Governors Teaching Excellence Award, which is the highest teaching award conferred by the UNC system for faculty. In 2014, she was also the recipient of the ASEE Dupont Minorities in Engineering Award.

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Radiah C. Minor School of Agriculture and Envrinmental Sciences, North Carolina A&T State University


Vernal G. Alford III North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University

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Vernal G. Alford III has worked at North Carolina A&T State University in various capacities since 1992. Mr. Alford has served as Assistant to the Dean of Engineering; Director of Outreach and Facilities Manager both for the College of Engineering; General Engineering Coordinator and Adjunct Associate Professor. Vernal Alford is a licensed Professional Engineer in the state of North Carolina.

Mr. Alford’s outreach activities have included but are not limited to the following:
• Judge Advisor (Head Judge) for 2007, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012 Aggieland Competitions of the First Tech Challenge (FTC) and workshop presenter for the 2009, 2010, 2011 FTC Kick Off Event;
• Judge Advisor (Head Judge) for 2011-2012 NC Region incl. 8 qualifying tournaments of the FIRST LEGO League(FLL);
• Referee and Judge for FIRST Lego League Robotics competition of middle and high school students;
• Director, 2010 Aggie Impact Scholars Program – a university wide six week summer program for up to seventy-five (75) incoming freshmen;
• Coordinator of EMPACC and HOME Programs – six week programs for incoming freshmen to the College of Engineering;
• Director of Engineer Starters Program – a two to three week program for middle and high school students;
• Assisted with the planning and operations of Para-Researcher and Energy Engineer Starters Programs – two week programs for middle and high school students;
• Coordinator of Para-Researcher Program 6 – a six week program for high school students taking a college course;
• Conducted Save our Students outreach, in conjunction with the YWCA, during academic year to four area middle schools;
• Served as a consultant to the Science Fair at Claxton Elementary School for two years and Erwin Montessori School including coordinating community service for engineering students.
• Presenter for the Greensboro Area Mathematics and Science Education Center (GAMSEC) Summer Program
• Speaker/presenter at various K-12 institutions.

Professor Alford currently teaches Introduction to Engineering Design and Ethics as well as Statics and Mechanics of Materials.

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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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