New Orleans, Louisiana
June 26, 2016
June 26, 2016
August 28, 2016
Liberal Education/Engineering & Society
The engineering field is facing a crisis. In order to solve today’s engineering challenges, we need a diverse workforce with strong technical and leadership skills. Unfortunately, workforce studies have shown that the number of students being educated in STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math) cannot meet projected demands . In addition, current enrollments in engineering are not diverse, with incremental movement in the number of women, blacks, Hispanics and Asians enrolling in engineering from 2001 - 2011 . Finally, studies have shown that better leadership and communication skills are needed among the current engineering workforce .
The Engineering Ambassadors Network addresses the problem by training and empowering a diverse group of undergraduate engineering students to share their passion for engineering through outreach to middle and high school students. In short, the EAN places the right messengers (undergraduate engineering students) with the right message (messages about engineering from Changing the Conversation ) in front of a diverse set of middle and high school students. This model simultaneously aims to grow a strong, diverse engineering pipeline through quality outreach that resonates with younger generations, while also enhancing the leadership and communication skills of the Engineering Ambassadors.
This paper describes the goals of the Engineering Ambassadors Network, as well as the, successes and challenges encountered from growing the once four-university collaboration. After a successful collaboration between Penn State University, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, University of Connecticut, and Worcester Polytechnic Institute, the Engineering Ambassadors Network expanded to more than 20 universities in August 2012. Engineering Ambassadors programs now exist at more than 30 universities, and these programs collaborate and leverage resources under a grant from the National Science Foundation. This paper will lay the framework for additional papers with case studies of specific Engineering Ambassadors programs, the impact the training has on the Engineering Ambassadors themselves, and best practices learned in teaching advanced communication strategies.
1. Carnevale, A.P. and S.J. Rose (2011). The Undereducated American. Available at http://www9.georgetown.edu/grad/gppi/hpi/cew/pdfs/undereducatedamerican.pdf 2. National Science Foundation, Women, Minorities, and Persons with Disabilities in Science and Engineering (Arlington, VA, NSF 13-304, 2014). 3. ASME, “Vision 2030―Creating the Future of Mechanical Engineering Education,” American Society of Mechanical Engineers (New York: ASME, 2010). 4. National Academy of Engineering, Changing the Conversation: Messages for Improving Public Understanding of Engineering (Washington, D.C.: NAE Press, 2008).
Haas, C., & Alley, M., & Garner, J. K. (2016, June), Engineering Ambassadors Network (EAN): Goals, Successes, and Challenges in Growing the EAN Paper presented at 2016 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, New Orleans, Louisiana. 10.18260/p.27298
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