June 14, 2015
June 14, 2015
June 17, 2015
Minorities in Engineering
26.267.1 - 26.267.8
Attracting Minorities to ET through TECHFITAttracting any group to a particular discipline requires providing opportunities for that group toparticipate as well as making the experience engaging enough that the participants are eager to learnmore. TECHFIT (Teaching Engineering Concepts to Harness Future Innovators and Technologists) is athree-year project designed to spark interest in engineering technology in middle school students,especially minority students. TECHFIT offers a 6-day summer program to teams of middle schoolteachers where they learn about electricity, wiring, safety, programming, and fitness. By the end of the sixdays, each teacher team has created their own functional, prototype exergame using a providedtechnology toolkit. Then during the subsequent school year, the teacher teams offer a ten-weekafterschool program in which they teach their students the same things they learned with the goal of thestudents designing another exergame with the same toolkit components. The afterschool experienceculminates in a showcase event where each school’s team shares their afterschool experience anddemonstrates their exergame innovation.Due to a limited budget, there is a selection process to identify the best teacher teams to include in theTECHFIT summer program. The evaluation criteria include, among other things, the size of the minoritypopulations at the teachers’ schools. For 2014, 22 teachers representing 8 schools in two states completedthe summer program. As of October 2014, there are a total of 224 students registered in the afterschoolprograms at these schools. The registration form includes self-identification of the students’ ethnicity.Based on this self-reporting, TECHFIT currently has 89 African American students, 7 Native Americanstudents, 37 Hispanic students, 3 Asian students, and 100 Caucasian students. (The total exceeds theactual number of students due to several students identifying multiple ethnicities.)The program is underway with the showcase scheduled for December 2014. The paper and presentationwill share additional details about the TECHFIT program as well as the impact it made on its participants.
Harriger, A. R., & Harriger, B. C., & Flynn, M. G., & Flynn, S. M. (2015, June), Attracting Minorities to ET Through TECHFIT Paper presented at 2015 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, Seattle, Washington. 10.18260/p.23606
ASEE holds the copyright on this document. It may be read by the public free of charge. Authors may archive their work on personal websites or in institutional repositories with the following citation: © 2015 American Society for Engineering Education. Other scholars may excerpt or quote from these materials with the same citation. When excerpting or quoting from Conference Proceedings, authors should, in addition to noting the ASEE copyright, list all the original authors and their institutions and name the host city of the conference. - Last updated April 1, 2015