June 23, 2013
June 23, 2013
June 26, 2013
Liberal Education/Engineering & Society
23.496.1 - 23.496.23
EngineeringAmbassadorNetwork:DevelopmentofSuccessful EngineeringAmbassadorProgramsatFourUTCPartnerSchools Founded at Penn State in 2009, the Engineering Ambassador program was rolled out tothree additional schools in 2010 with support from United Technologies Corporation (UTC). Thefour Engineering Ambassador pilot schools include Penn State, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute,Worcester Polytechnic Institute, and the University of Connecticut. The expansion of successfulprograms at these four schools and close working relationships launched the idea for a NationalEngineering Ambassador Network. The original four partner schools have established programsembracing a common set of core objectives: (i) formal teaching of advanced communicationskills; (ii) communicating messages from Changing the Conversation1, (iii) performing outreachto middle and high school students, and (iv) being an academic based program rather than a club. Though these four programs have common core objectives, the programs differ fromschool to school according to institutional structures and other education outreach STEMprograms available on their respective campus or regional community. Each school hasleveraged their own core strengths to make their programs sustainable and successful. Theflexibility of the program allows the schools to work together to ensure the core objectives aremet, collaborate on training, share materials, and offer the Engineering Ambassadors valuablenetworking opportunities with other Ambassadors outside their own institutions. An importantpart of the program at each school is the opportunity for Engineering Ambassadors to receive asummer internship at United Technologies Corporation. The programs vary in size and structure. At the University of Connecticut, for example,the Engineering Ambassador program includes over 150 students who help in various outreachactivities, with a core group of 36 Ambassadors who specialize in presentations. Their training isdone over the course of a semester, and their outreach activities range from school visits andafter-school programs to large event days on campus. Worcester Polytechnic Institute’s programhas 18 students who meet weekly, but receive their main communications training over thecourse of a single week. Their outreach ranges from school visits to on-campus visitors andtours. This paper will provide a description of the pilot schools’ Engineering Ambassadorprograms, including information on the size of the programs, the different program structures,each programs synergy within their school, the training methods, program activities, outreachactivities and funding sources. The paper will outline the overall successes and challenges foreach institution in developing their programs. The paper will discuss the collaborative efforts ofUTC, and the company’s contribution to the academic-industry partnership. References1. National Academy of Engineering, Changing the Conversation: Messages for ImprovingPublic Understanding of Engineering (Washington, D.C.: NAE Press, 2008).
Haas, C., & McElholm, L. S., & Renfro, S. M., & Herkenham, E. S., & Marshall, M., & Alley, M. (2013, June), Engineering Ambassador Network: Establishment of Successful Engineering Ambassador Programs at Four UTC Partner Schools Paper presented at 2013 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, Atlanta, Georgia. https://peer.asee.org/19510
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