June 15, 2019
June 15, 2019
June 19, 2019
Diversity and NSF Grantees Poster Session
This study attempted to explore the impact of a research experience for undergraduate (REU) program funded by the National Science Foundation (NSF) in aerospace engineering at a southwestern public research university. A total of 25 students who are citizens or permanent residents were selected across the United States and participated in the REU program for 10 weeks during the summer in 2017 or 2018.
Each student joined a research group of a faculty mentor in the Aerospace Engineering department and participated in common activities with other undergraduate research programs at the university, such as workshops, tours, social (picnics, barbecues, attending sporting events, and participating in recreational activities). The students shared the same housing arrangements and events to assist in all students having similar experiences, getting exposed to national and international undergraduate researchers, and for community-building. Students had opportunities to respond to the pre-post surveys on career decision making between graduate school and industry, research, and mentoring experiences at the university.
While 24 students responded to either pre- or post-surveys, this study utilized the data from 19 students who responded to both pre- and post-surveys (76% response rate) to present student changes in those areas as the impact of the research experiences at the university. Preliminary findings showed that most students came to favor graduate education and research, their preferences did not change at the end of the REU programs, as desired by the goals of the research experience programs. Students’ perceptions of research knowledge, skills, and engineering career path were all positively improved. Students expressed several areas of research skills that they were able to amass during the programs. While students ranked faculty as the most influential mentor, followed by Ph.D. students and peers, post-doctoral researchers and master’s students ranked the lowest. Content analyses of responses to open-ended questions are currently ongoing to explore further.
Richard, J. C., & Yoon, S. Y. (2019, June), Board 132: Impact of a Research Experience Program in Aerospace Engineering on Undergraduate Students: Year Two Paper presented at 2019 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition , Tampa, Florida. 10.18260/1-2--32238
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