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Board # 101 :Impact of a Year-round Out-of-School Maker Program on Minority Middle School Boys (Work in Progress)

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2017 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition


Columbus, Ohio

Publication Date

June 24, 2017

Start Date

June 24, 2017

End Date

June 28, 2017

Conference Session

Pre-college Engineering Education Division Poster Session

Tagged Division

Pre-College Engineering Education Division

Tagged Topic


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Paper Authors


Jumoke Oluwakemi Ladeji-Osias Morgan State University Orcid 16x16

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Dr. J. ’Kemi Ladeji-Osias is Associate Professor and Associate Chair for Graduate Studies in the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering at Morgan State University in Baltimore where she teaches courses in computer engineering. Dr. Ladeji-Osias earned a B.S. in electrical engineering from the University of Maryland, College Park and a Ph.D. in biomedical engineering from Rutgers University. She is the Principal Investigator for the Verizon Innovative Learning Program for Minority Males directed by Morgan State University.

Dr. Ladeji-Osias’ involvement in engineering curricular innovations includes investigating strategies in increase STEM interest through out-of-school programs. In addition to conducting research on embedded systems, she has held leadership positions in the Middle Atlantic Section of ASEE and is a member of IEEE. She enjoys observing the intellectual and professional growth in students as they prepare for engineering careers.

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LaDawn Partlow Morgan State University

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Mrs. LaDawn E. Partlow is a lecturer in the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering at Morgan State University. She earned both a Bachelor of Science and a Master of Engineering in Electrical Engineering from Morgan State University. Mrs. Partlow currently serves as the Program Director of the Verizon Minority Male Maker Program, which focuses on providing minority middle school boys with hands-on learning experiences using advanced technology, app development software, 3-D design techniques, and entrepreneurship skills. Mrs. Partlow also serves as the Lab Manager of the Engineering Visualization Research Laboratory (EVRL) where she helps to advise students on undergraduate electrical engineering research projects ranging from smart lighting technologies to cyber security. She has also served as an online course development specialist responsible for the creation, organization, and delivery of several web based Electrical Engineering courses offered at Morgan State University. Her technical expertise includes, web-based learning, online course development, information management, systems integration, and 3-D simulation and modeling.

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The Maker movement is sweeping through many segments of the society, positively impacting both formal and informal learning activities. African-American and Hispanic students are underrepresented in the Maker movement and in the STEM workforce, compared to their proportion of the US population. In this paper, we describe the results of the first year of a program that is focused on minority males in middle schools (grades 6 – 8) near a Historically Black University. The program consists of a four week summer program with about 10 four-hour Saturday sessions during the academic year. Participants in this program 1) create products using 3-D modeling software and 3-D printers, 2) develop mobile and embedded applications, 3) enhance computational thinking skills, and 4) pursue related entrepreneurial ventures. The participants interact with local technology entrepreneurs and corporate leaders, minority inventors, and minority college student mentors to learn about STEM careers and encourage self-efficacy.

Students are surveyed (quantitative and qualitative), by external evaluators to address the Research Question: To what extent does participation in the MMM Program increase students’ 1) attitude about STEM, 2) content knowledge, 3) interest in STEM, 4) interest in STEM careers, and 5) interest in attending college? Initial data analysis has been very encouraging and will be described in detail in the paper. Participants showed varying increases in attitude about STEM and interest in STEM subjects and careers (whether as the primary or secondary choice) and knowledge of mobile app development and digital manufacturing knowledge. They also expressed a more nuanced understanding of career options. The surveys also point to a need to explore different strategies to increase interest in math. Results from our program may be of interest to those designing programs that impact students in this age or ethnic group.

Ladeji-Osias, J. O., & Partlow, L. (2017, June), Board # 101 :Impact of a Year-round Out-of-School Maker Program on Minority Middle School Boys (Work in Progress) Paper presented at 2017 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, Columbus, Ohio. 10.18260/1-2--27669

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