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Development of a STEM Summer Program for Underrepresented High School Students – A Success Story

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Conference

2015 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition

Location

Seattle, Washington

Publication Date

June 14, 2015

Start Date

June 14, 2015

End Date

June 17, 2015

ISBN

978-0-692-50180-1

ISSN

2153-5965

Conference Session

Cultivating Engineering Scholarship and Research Mindsets Among URM Students

Tagged Division

Minorities in Engineering

Tagged Topic

Diversity

Page Count

18

Page Numbers

26.529.1 - 26.529.18

DOI

10.18260/p.23868

Permanent URL

https://peer.asee.org/23868

Download Count

143

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Paper Authors

biography

Claude Villiers Florida Gulf Coast University

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Dr. Villiers is an Associate Professor in the U.A. Whitaker College of Engineering (WCOE) at Florida Gulf Coast University. He received his Ph.D. in Civil Engineering with a concentration in Materials and Construction from the University of Florida in 2004. Dr. Villiers’ areas of principal research interest are Civil Engineering Materials and Asphalt Technology, Highway and Pavement Design, Transportation, Specifications and Construction Variability of Pavement Materials, Quality Control/Quality Assurance, Pavement Management and Rehabilitation, and Statistics related to Pavement Materials.

In the past, Dr. Villiers worked on several projects sponsored by various agencies including the Florida Department of Transportation, Federal Highway Administration, and University Transportation Research Center Region-II. Some of his most recently completed and on-going work include the use of driving simulator to investigate patterns of drivers’ behavior during various rainfall event using different roadway geometries. Deliverables from this project may help Florida Department of Transportation and other agencies with future decision making, such as variable message signs, determining appropriate corrective measures on existing roadway sections, and/or designing future roadway sections to reduce hydroplaning. He is a Co-PI for the grant submitted to NSF to allow Florida Gulf Coast University (FGCU) be a member of the Florida – Georgia Louis Stokes Alliance for Minority Participation (FGLSAMP). This program is committed to substantially increasing the number of degrees awarded to underrepresented populations within STEM areas. Last year, Dr. Villiers in collaboration with the Director of the Office of Community Outreach Programs, Associate Provost at FGCU along with the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People successfully initiated and completed a successful Pre-Collegiate Summer Camp to engage high school students from underrepresented groups in research and STEM activities. Dr. Villiers is also the founding faculty advisor for the American Society of Civil Engineers in WCOE at Florida Gulf Coast University.

Dr. Claude Villiers Villiers
Email: cvillier@fgcu.edu

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biography

Shelby Gilbert Florida Gulf Coast University

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Dr. Shelby Gilbert is an assistant professor of curriculum and instruction in the College of Education at Florida Gulf Coast University. She received her B.S. and M.S.Ed. from the University of Miami, and her doctorate from Florida International University in 2008. Her research interests include minority students’ academic performance, particularly in mathematics.

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biography

Tony Anthony Barringer Florida Gulf Coast University

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Dr. Tony A. Barringer currently serves as Associate Provost/ Associate VP for Faculty Affairs at Florida Gulf Coast University. He also serves as full professor in the Division of Justice Studies where he teaches in the area of criminal justice. Dr. Barringer has presented and published widely as his research is focused on the plight of minorities in the criminal justice system. Dr. Barringer has been PI or co-PI on grants in excess of one million dollars. He is truly committed to the area of diversity and all of its associated benefits.

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biography

Anthony M. Hyatt

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Mr. Anthony Hyatt
Senior Coordinator of Community Outreach
Florida Gulf Coast University
Phone: (239) 590-1034
Email: ahyatt@fgcu.edu

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biography

J. Web Horton

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Mr. J. Webb Horton
Assistant Director of Community Outreach
Florida Gulf Coast University
Phone: (239) 590-1335
Email: jwhorton@fgcu.edu

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biography

David Hinds

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Mr. David Hinds
Membership Chair and Political Awareness Chair:
National Association for the Advancement of Colored People
Collier County Branch #5117
Phone 239.455.2886
Email: dlivhinds@aol.com

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Abstract

Research shows that fewer students, and particularly minority and low-income students, enterand persist in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) programs in the UnitedStates than in other programs. This is often attributed to a lack of knowledge and exposure toopportunities in STEM. Southwest Florida is one such area where minority and low-incomestudents especially lack an awareness of STEM as a viable career option. To address thisconcern, Florida Gulf Coast University (FGCU) in partnership with the Collier County NationalAssociation for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) hosted a two-week on-campusSTEM camp during summer 2014. The program objectives were to increase the students’awareness of STEM fields by exposing them to real-world math and its application in relatedcareer fields. The camp also introduced students to practicing professionals in local STEMindustries, creating potential internship opportunities for program participants. Through theseexperiences, the summer STEM camp sought to improve students’ skills in mathematics, thusincreasing their likelihood of being accepted into college or university to pursue STEM degrees.Thirty-eight (38) students from 10 different local high schools participated in the summer camp.The group was evenly split among males (N=20) and females (N=18), with 75% of the campparticipants coming from groups that are traditionally underrepresented (Black or Latinodescent) in STEM fields. The students also represented high-performing students among highschool freshmen (23%), sophomores (27%), and juniors (50%) and had an average GPA of 3.83.In order to meet the objectives presented above, a committee of individual from variousbackground including academia, business, and committee outreach designed a curriculumincorporating math and hands-on projects in STEM. The camp was delivered in three (3) phases.The morning phase was math instruction delivered by a certified high school mathematicsteacher. The afternoon phase included exposure to careers in STEM fields and hands-on projectsoffered by regular university STEM faculty. The third phase consisted of panel discussions withlocal STEM professionals, panel discussions format with university admissions and financial aidofficials, and field trips to companies and organizations with major emphasis in STEM fields.In order to assess whether students’ mathematics skills improved as a result of participating inthe summer camp, a combined practice SAT and ACT mathematics pre-test was given to thestudents on the first day of the camp. The students were given a practice SAT/ACT post-test onthe last day of the camp. Thirty-five percent (35%) of students increased their SAT math scores,and 23% increased their ACT math scores. The highest increase, 43%, was noticed among 10thgraders on the SAT practice test and 27% among 11th graders. Surveys were also giventhroughout of the camp in order to assess the students’ perspectives of STEM fields to evaluateits effectiveness. By the end of the summer camp, over 95% of the students expressed an interestin pursuing STEM-related careers, and seven students received paid internships. These resultsemphasize the need for more programs to expose minority students to opportunities in STEM.

Villiers, C., & Gilbert, S., & Barringer, T. A., & Hyatt, A. M., & Horton, J. W., & Hinds, D. (2015, June), Development of a STEM Summer Program for Underrepresented High School Students – A Success Story Paper presented at 2015 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, Seattle, Washington. 10.18260/p.23868

ASEE holds the copyright on this document. It may be read by the public free of charge. Authors may archive their work on personal websites or in institutional repositories with the following citation: © 2015 American Society for Engineering Education. Other scholars may excerpt or quote from these materials with the same citation. When excerpting or quoting from Conference Proceedings, authors should, in addition to noting the ASEE copyright, list all the original authors and their institutions and name the host city of the conference. - Last updated April 1, 2015