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Assessment Of An Engineering Outreach Program: Hands On Engineering

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2002 Annual Conference


Montreal, Canada

Publication Date

June 16, 2002

Start Date

June 16, 2002

End Date

June 19, 2002



Conference Session

Pre-College Programs

Page Count


Page Numbers

7.241.1 - 7.241.5



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Paper Authors

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Elizabeth Parry

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Laura Bottomley

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For outreach events that consist of one or two visits to a K-12 school in a year, statistics are collected on how frequently the school asks for repeat visits. In addition, anecdotal data are collected from teachers and counselors. Of the schools where single visits are made in a year's time, data has indicated that these visits are most successful in long-term impact when teachers/counselors follow-up. One school in particular has a counselor that meets with students on a regular basis and even videotaped the presentation for repeated use. At this high school, the counselor reported that from the first year of presentations, four students that were not previously considering engineering (of the forty students who attended) have decided to consider an engineering degree program. Of the second year of presentations, eight students have enrolled at NC State. Of these, two had never heard of engineering before the presentations, and two were not considering engineering as a career.

In summary outreach programs can be very difficult to assess in a meaningful way. NC State College of Engineering has put together an outreach assessment plan that has started to produce results. Data showing that outreach can have long-term affect on students and teachers are much needed for every program. Preliminary results indicate that outreach can have an effect. More data will continue to be collected from the large numbers of students and teachers that the outreach program touches each year.


[1] Bottomley, Laura J. and Elizabeth Parry, et al., " Lessons Learned from the Implementation of a GK-12 Grant Outreach Program," Proceedings, 2001 ASEE Annual Conference, Albuquerque, NM.

[2] Bottomley, Laura J. and Elizabeth Parry, " Illuminating Engineering," Proceedings, 2000 ASEE Annual Conference, St. Louis, MO.

[3] Bottomley, Laura J. and Elizabeth Parry, "A Summer Engineering Camp for Middle School Students," Proceedings, 2002 ASEE Annual Conference, Toronto, Canada.

ELIZABETH PARRY received her B.Sc. in Engineering Management/Mechanical Engineering from the University of Missouri-Rolla in 1983. After ten years of industry and management experience with IBM Corporation, Ms. Parry became a partner in Science Surround, an informal science education business. In addition, she consults with NC State University on K-12 science issues, and is the assistant director of outreach.

LAURA J. BOTTOMLEY is the Director of the Women in Engineering and Outreach Programs at North Carolina State University and co-owner of Science Surround, a science education business for children. Dr. Bottomley received her Ph.D. in electrical engineering from North Carolina State University in 1992, and her MSEE and BSEE from Virginia Tech in 1984 and 1985, respectively. She has worked at AT&T Bell Labs and Duke University.

Proceedings of the 2002 American Society for Engineering Education Annual Conference and Exposition Copyright © 2002, American Society for Engineering Education

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Parry, E., & Bottomley, L. (2002, June), Assessment Of An Engineering Outreach Program: Hands On Engineering Paper presented at 2002 Annual Conference, Montreal, Canada. 10.18260/1-2--10383

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