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Designing An Outreach Project That Trains Both Future Faculty And Future Engineers

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2003 Annual Conference


Nashville, Tennessee

Publication Date

June 22, 2003

Start Date

June 22, 2003

End Date

June 25, 2003



Conference Session

Mentoring, Outreach, & Intro BME Courses

Page Count


Page Numbers

8.386.1 - 8.386.5



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Paper Authors

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Shruti Mehta

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Amanda Knudson

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David Kanter

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Suzanne Olds

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

Session 1609

Designing an Outreach Project that Trains Both Future Faculty and Future Engineers

Suzanne A. Olds1, David E. Kanter1,2, Amanda Knudson 3, Shruti B. Mehta 1 1 Biomedical Engineering Department/ 2School of Education and Social Policy/1Biology Department Northwestern University, Evanston, IL

I. Background

Recognizing that there are more engineering jobs than there are future engineers in the educational pipeline, many universities have developed programs to attack this problem at its roots - in elementary and middle schools. Several different approaches to K-12 engineering outreach have been employed to get students interested in the field of engineering, anticipating that this interest may impact later career choices. Some such outreach programs focus on educating K-12 teachers about engineering so they may pass the knowledge on to their students, while others focus on university engineering faculty directly interacting with the students whom they hope to affect. When institutions of higher education devise K-12 outreach programs, the institution itself must consider many factors; time commitment required of developers, funds available, effectiveness of the program, and program sustainability are those that receive the most attention. The outreach model we have developed has minimized the time commitment of faculty developers and the funds required to sustain such a project, as we rely extensively on undergraduate and graduate student volunteers to develop and implement the project. In addition, this model has created some benefits not addressed by more traditional K-12 engineering outreach models. In this paper, we will describe our engineering outreach model and focus on the three major advantages of this model as implemented through the Biomedical Engineering Department: 1) benefits gained by undergraduate and graduate engineering students who are involved in the development and/or implementation of the outreach module, 2) the enhanced sense of community developed within the Biomedical Engineering department, and 3) long-term sustainability of the outreach program.

II. Project Description

The engineering outreach programs that are most frequently cited as good models of K-12 engineering outreach efforts are those developed by centers dedicated to outreach (ex: the Integrated Teaching and Learning Laboratory at the University of Colorado and the Center for “Proceedings of the 2003 American Society for Engineering Education Annual Conference & Exposition Copyright © 2003, American Society for Engineering Education”

Mehta, S., & Knudson, A., & Kanter, D., & Olds, S. (2003, June), Designing An Outreach Project That Trains Both Future Faculty And Future Engineers Paper presented at 2003 Annual Conference, Nashville, Tennessee. 10.18260/1-2--12571

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