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Attracting K-12 Students towards Engineering Disciplines with Project-Based Learning Modules

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2011 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition


Vancouver, BC

Publication Date

June 26, 2011

Start Date

June 26, 2011

End Date

June 29, 2011



Conference Session

Engineering Technology Futuristic Planning

Tagged Division

Engineering Technology

Page Count


Page Numbers

22.265.1 - 22.265.12



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Paper Authors


Alok K. Verma Old Dominion University

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Dr. Alok K. Verma is Ray Ferrari Professor and, Director of the Lean Institute at Old Dominion University. He also serves as the Director of the Automated Manufacturing Laboratory. Dr. Verma received his B.S. in Aeronautical Engineering from IIT Kanpur, M.S. in Engineering Mechanics and Ph.D. in Mechanical Engineering from ODU. Prof. Verma is a licensed professional engineer in the state of Virginia, a certified manufacturing engineer and has certifications in Lean Manufacturing and Six Sigma. He has organized several international conferences as General Chair, including ICAM-2006 and ICAM-1999 and also serves as associate editor for three International Journals. He serves as the President of the International Society of Agile Manufacturing and as the chief editor of the International Journal of Agile Manufacturing. Dr. Verma’s scholarly publications include more than 77 journal articles and papers in conference proceedings and over 50 technical reports. He is actively involved in applied research, and has served as a PI or Co-PI on several funded competitive grants exceeding $4.0 million. Dr. Verma has developed and delivered training program in Lean Enterprise & Design for Manufacturing for Northrop Grumman Newport News, STIHL and several other companies in U.S. He has developed simulation based training programs for shipbuilding and repair industry under a grant from the National Shipbuilding Research Program (NSRP). He is well known internationally and has been invited to deliver keynote addresses and invited papers at more than 12 national and international conferences on Lean/Agile manufacturing. Dr. Verma has received the Regional Alumni Award for Excellence for contribution to Lean Manufacturing research, the International Education Award at ODU and Ben Sparks Medal by ASME. He is active in ASME, ASEE, SME, IIE, and SNAME. Dr. Verma continues to serve the Hampton Roads community in various leadership positions.

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Attracting K-12 Students towards Engineering Disciplines with Project Based Learning Modules ABSTRACTLow enrollment and high attrition rates in Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM)based degree programs have created a workforce problem in industries like shipbuilding,automotive, aerospace and manufacturing. Part of this problem can be attributed pedagogical issueslike lack of engaging hands-on activities utilized for science and math education in middle and highschools. Lack of student interest in technical careers can also be attributed to lack of an integratedapproach in teaching math, science and technical education. To engage student’s interest in thetechnical career path, it is important that students establish a link between the theoretical knowledgeand its application to solve real life problems early in their learning experience. Project basedactivities have a proven record as instructional tool. Effectiveness of such activities as a pedagogicaltool has been supported by research in the acquisition and retention of knowledge.The MarineTech Project funded by the National Science Foundation and the Shipbuilding andRepair Career Day Events (SBRCD) project funded by the National Shipbuilding Research Program have attempted to address the workforce issue for by developing project based learning kits andassociated instructional modules to engage students in STEM tracks and increase awareness aboutshipbuilding and repair careers. Four marine kits and four instructional modules were developedunder these two grants to encourage creative thinking and keep students engaged in shipbuilding andrepair processes. The teacher training component of these projects has provided training in using andimplementing these modules. The paper presents the motivation behind developing these projectbased learning (PBL) modules, issues related to implementation and results from student and teacherworkshops.

Verma, A. K. (2011, June), Attracting K-12 Students towards Engineering Disciplines with Project-Based Learning Modules Paper presented at 2011 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, Vancouver, BC. 10.18260/1-2--17546

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