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Assessing Participant Engagement In A Middle School Outreach Program

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Conference

2007 Annual Conference & Exposition

Location

Honolulu, Hawaii

Publication Date

June 24, 2007

Start Date

June 24, 2007

End Date

June 27, 2007

ISSN

2153-5965

Conference Session

Assessment of K-12 Engineering Programs and Issues

Tagged Division

K-12 & Pre-College Engineering

Page Count

11

Page Numbers

12.270.1 - 12.270.11

Permanent URL

https://peer.asee.org/2978

Download Count

30

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Paper Authors

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Jessica Matson Tennessee Technological University

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Jessica Matson is a Professor of Industrial Engineering at Tennessee Technological University. She received her BS from Mississippi State University and her MS and PhD from the Georgia Institute of Technology, all in industrial engineering. She has previously served on the faculty of Mississippi State University and the University of Alabama and as industrial engineering department chair at Tennessee Tech. She is a registered PE.

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Kristine Craven Tennessee Technological University

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Kris Craven received her BS, MS, and PhD in Mechanical Engineering from West Virginia University. She coordinated the Freshman Engineering program at WVU before joining the Basic Engineering faculty at Tennessee Technological University. She has taught Programming, Graphics, Thermodynamics, Dynamics, and Fluid Mechanics. Her interests include numerical modeling in heat transfer and fluid flow, and educational concerns.

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Sally Pardue Tennessee Technological University

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Sally Pardue is an Associate Professor of Mechanical Engineering at Tennessee Technological University. She began her academic appointment in August 1999 following four years as a Research and Development Engineer. Dr. Pardue received her PhD in Engineering from Tennessee Technological University in 1995. Her research interests are random vibrations, machine diagnostics, cavitation, and NDE of composite materials.

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Corinne Darvennes Tennessee Technological University

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Corinne Darvennes is a Professor of Mechanical Engineering at Tennessee Technological University and interim chair of the Industrial and Systems Engineering Department. She received her BS from the Université de Technologie de Compiègne, her MS from the Institute of Sound and Vibration Research, and her PhD from the University of Texas at Austin. She is interested in research in acoustics and ultrasonic NDE, and outreach activities.

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Alison Wachs Tennessee Technological University

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Alison Wachs, a senior industrial engineering major at Tennessee Technological University, will graduate in May 2007. She currently serves in leadership roles for the Institute of Industrial Engineers, Alpha Pi Mu, and Tau Beta Pi. She is a recipient of the Dwight D. Gardner Scholarship from IIE.

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Abstract
NOTE: The first page of text has been automatically extracted and included below in lieu of an abstract

Assessing Participant Engagement in a Middle School Outreach Program

Abstract

Engineering A Future (EAF), an annual outreach program for girls in grades five through eight, has been held at Tennessee Technological University since 2003. The program is aimed at introducing these young women to careers in engineering. Sponsored by Tennessee Tech, the Society of Women Engineers, the American Association of University Women, the Tennessee Space Grant Consortium, Girl Scouts of Cumberland Valley, and local industry, participation has grown each year. In the day-long program, each group of eight to twelve middle-school girls rotates through four 45-minute, hands-on, engineering-focused activities. High school and college students serve as volunteer guides, leading their assigned group from one activity to the next.

In response to participant evaluations and adult volunteer suggestions, program changes have been made each year. Prior to 2006, there had been no formal attempt to recruit the help of high school students. However, with the first EAF participants reaching high school age, it was time to engage them in the day activities.

To provide a meaningful experience for the volunteer guides in EAF 2006, they were asked to serve as observers to study participant engagement. This paper provides an overview of the findings from the engagement study, including the impact of time of day on participant engagement, characteristics of activities with the highest engagement, correlation with end-of- day participant evaluations, and lessons learned.

Introduction

Engineering A Future (EAF), a day-long outreach program for girls in grades five through eight, has been held annually at Tennessee Technological University since 2003. Sponsored by Tennessee Tech, the Society of Women Engineers (SWE), the American Association of University Women (AAUW), the Tennessee Space Grant Consortium, Girls Scouts of Cumberland Valley, and Cummins Filtration, participation has grown each year, from 73 girls in 2003 to approximately 250 in 2006. The program features an initial teambuilding activity followed by four 45-minute sessions, each providing a hands-on activity focused on a different engineering topic. Lunch and an engineering-related lunchtime activity are also part of the program. The girls are divided into groups of eight to twelve participants. Activity sessions are led by volunteers, who represent engineering faculty, SWE members, or engineers from local industry. Some activities are designed to accommodate fifth- and sixth-grade participants; others are designed for seventh- and eighth-graders. High school and college students, which include both engineering and education majors, serve as volunteer guides, leading their assigned group from one activity to the next. With College of Education faculty and AAUW members assisting in the registration process and numerous other miscellaneous tasks, this program incorporates a unique connection between local school educators, University students and faculty, and middle

Matson, J., & Craven, K., & Pardue, S., & Darvennes, C., & Wachs, A. (2007, June), Assessing Participant Engagement In A Middle School Outreach Program Paper presented at 2007 Annual Conference & Exposition, Honolulu, Hawaii. https://peer.asee.org/2978

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