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Attracting Minority Students To Science And Engineering

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2008 Annual Conference & Exposition


Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

Publication Date

June 22, 2008

Start Date

June 22, 2008

End Date

June 25, 2008



Conference Session

Marketing Engineering to Minority Students

Tagged Division

Minorities in Engineering

Page Count


Page Numbers

13.242.1 - 13.242.9



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Paper Authors


Rafic Bachnak Texas A&M International University

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Dr. Bachnak is Professor of Systems Engineering at Texas A&M International University. He received his B.S., M.S., and Ph.D. degrees in Electrical and Computer Engineering from Ohio University in 1983, 1984, and 1989, respectively. Prior to joining TAMIU in 2007, Dr. Bachnak was on the faculty of Texas A&M-Corpus Christi, Northwestern State University, and Franklin University. His experience includes several fellowships with NASA and the US Navy Laboratories and summer employment with Koch Industries. Dr. Bachnak is a registered Professional Engineer in the State of Texas, a senior member of IEEE and ISA, and a member of ASEE. He is currently the Vice Chair of the Instrumentation Division of ASEE.

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jack esparza Texas A&M University Corpus Christi

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Mr. Jack Edward Esparza is a retired high school teacher and coach. He taught mathematics to Learning Disabled students. He received his B.S. in Education from Texas A & I University in Kingsville, Texas in 1974, his M.S. in Curriculum Supervision in Education from Texas A & I University – Corpus Christi in 1979, holds two Associate Degrees in Welding and Industrial Machining and currently completing his B.S. (post baccalaureate) in Mechanical Engineering Technology, from Texas A & M University – Corpus Christi in the Spring of 2008.

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

Attracting Minority Students to Science and Engineering


This paper describes a number of outreach activities to attract minority students to science and engineering careers. These activities include presentations by guest speakers, tours of a NASA center for K-12 educators, workshops for middle school students, and hands-on demonstrations and experiments. The paper presents details about the activities implemented during the last year. Results are briefly described.


Strategies employed to recruit and retain students in science and engineering fields include hands-on approaches1- 3, field trips4, 5, summer workshops6, 7, competitions8, and software training programs9. This paper describes the activities of a new project, Impact of Space Exploration Programs (ISEP), designed to educate the public about the benefits of space exploration and to attract minority students to science and engineering careers. Specifically, the goals and objectives to be accomplished under ISEP are:

Increase K-12 educator knowledge of space research projects and educational opportunities Inspire students and increase their interest in science, mathematics, and technology Increase the public’s knowledge of the benefits of space exploration programs Communicate to students NASA educational activities and career opportunities Enhance the university image in the community and support our efforts in attracting and recruiting Hispanic and other underrepresented students.

These goals are accomplished through the following activities:

Organizing presentations by NASA guest speakers Organizing tours for K-12 educators to visit Johnson Space Center (JSC) and tour center facilities Conducting seminars to introduce JSC tour participants to educational opportunities and facilities Providing workshops for middle school students where the emphasis is on application of math and science to space related activities especially robots Creating a project web site that will serve as a communication link with local constituents and the larger community Producing a CD to disseminate the project results and help in sustaining the project.

Student assistants helped with the implementation of all activities, including conducting some of the sessions.

Bachnak, R., & esparza, J. (2008, June), Attracting Minority Students To Science And Engineering Paper presented at 2008 Annual Conference & Exposition, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. 10.18260/1-2--3952

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