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Development Of A K 12 Summer Program To Promote Women In Engineering And Technology

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2001 Annual Conference


Albuquerque, New Mexico

Publication Date

June 24, 2001

Start Date

June 24, 2001

End Date

June 27, 2001



Page Count


Page Numbers

6.369.1 - 6.369.5

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Jamie Workman

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

Session 2548

Development of a K-12 Summer Program to Promote Women in Engineering and Technology

Jamie K Workman Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis


As recruitment and retention of women in engineering and technology programs at the university level is a concern, K-12 programs are being developed to address this issue. Although many reasons exist for the low enrollment numbers of females in engineering and technology (ET) programs, several are related to the limited pre-college exposure levels in math, science, and applied technology areas and guidance of these students into more traditionally female-populated disciplines. By developing extra-curricular ET programs for K-12 females, it may be possible to overcome some of the hurdles of the past and increase enrollments in the future.

The Purdue School of Engineering and Technology at Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis (IUPUI) offered a K-12 program for females in collaboration with the Indiana University School of Education summer program “Young Scholars.” The course entitled “Technology for Girls” is a program developed for young females entering grades 6-8. “Technology for Girls” is a one-week, all-day course emphasizing a broad range of concepts in science, engineering, and technology presented in an informal, supportive, and educational setting. From this starting point, several possibilities exist for expansion of the program, breakout into subject matter concentration, and reformatting for different grade levels.

The objectives of the course are to encourage hands-on science, engineering, and technology activities by females, increase interest and awareness of the potential careers for women in engineering and technology, and create a sense of acceptance, and increased self-esteem for young females entering these typically male-dominated academic and professional fields. These objectives were approached in a unique way throughout the course and the efforts were well received. The development, sample course material, instructional approach, general results, and the overall experience from this past summer’s course will be presented.


Similar to the report published by the National Science Foundation (NSF) in 1982 on Women, Minorities, and Persons With Disabilities in Science and Engineering, the 2000 report found that at all levels of education and in employment, women are less likely than men to choose science and engineering fields1. On a positive note, the report also shows that in 1996, women received 55.2% of all bachelors’ degrees, 55.9% of all masters’ degrees, and 40.9% of all doctoral degrees conferred. However, the percentage of engineering degrees conferred at each level are 17.9%, 17.1% and 12.3% respectively. In 1996, women represented 53.4% of the total enrollment at 4- year institutions, but only 19.2% of the undergraduate enrollment in Engineering programs. And

Proceedings of the 2001 American Society for Engineering Education Annual Conference & Exposition Copyright  2001, American Society for Engineering Education

Workman, J. (2001, June), Development Of A K 12 Summer Program To Promote Women In Engineering And Technology Paper presented at 2001 Annual Conference, Albuquerque, New Mexico.

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