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Engineering: Beyond Ears In Pre College Years

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2007 Annual Conference & Exposition


Honolulu, Hawaii

Publication Date

June 24, 2007

Start Date

June 24, 2007

End Date

June 27, 2007



Conference Session

Gender and Accessibility Issues in K-12 Engineering Education

Tagged Division

K-12 & Pre-College Engineering

Page Count


Page Numbers

12.659.1 - 12.659.14



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Paper Authors

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Uchechukwu Abanulo

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Ananth Iyer

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John Helferty College of Engineering, Temple University

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Joseph Fischgrund The Pennsylvania School for the Deaf

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

Engineering: Beyond Ears in Pre-College Years Abstract

A 12-week program was developed in which electrical engineering concepts, in form of robotics projects, are taught to students at a secondary educational institution for the deaf and hearing impaired. The robotics course was originally designed for, and has been taught for about a decade to freshmen at the Temple University college of Engineering. The objectives of this project range from eliminating existing boundaries of engineering education to increasing the anticipation of success amongst the physically impaired. A prior breakthrough in the extension of engineering education beyond assumed “limits” was achieved when a young man who was both sight and hearing impaired earned a bachelors degree with honors from the Electrical Engineering department at Temple University. Since then, several outreach programs have been run to increase engineering awareness in the community, and this project was carried out with the same perspective in mind. In this paper, an overview of the idea of engineering education for hearing impaired pre-college students will be given. The goals of the program will also be described in detail, and didactic strategies, pedagogical considerations and empirical observations will be presented. This program, which has been run once at the Pennsylvania school for the deaf, was evaluated based on responses of the students and their science teacher. Results of the evaluation procedure will be analyzed in this paper.

1. Introduction

During the past decade, organizations such as the National Science Foundation and the American Society of Engineering Education have put in a lot of effort in taking engineering beyond college walls to students in pre-college institutions1. These efforts came about as a result of observations that many young scholars in the United States are usually detached from engineering related courses before they get an opportunity to be formally educated in such subjects. In Temple University, High school students are reached out to through a summer robotics program run by the ex-chair of the Electrical Engineering Department, Dr. John Helferty. 80% of Participants in this program have gone on to study engineering in college, and about 40% have been known to graduate with an engineering degree. An impact was also made in engineering for the disabled when Temple University graduated the first ever blind-deaf engineering student (Scott Stoffel). He not only performed outstandingly throughout his academic career, but also created several senior design projects opportunities for successive electrical engineering seniors after him through his own project which involved creating a system which made it easier for blind-deaf students with low sensitivity, like himself, to communicate.2,3,4 The achievements of Scott Stoffel motivated an outreach program, which involved teaching the concept of electrical engineering through a series of courses in robotics to high school freshmen at the Pennsylvania School for the Deaf (PSD). The main objectives of this program were as follows: 1. To increase engineering awareness and encourage the desire for engineering education amongst high-school students who are deaf or hearing impaired. 2. To present engineering in a method that is suitable for pre-college students who are deaf or hearing impaired. 3. To give deaf students a sense of self-confidence and anticipation of success amidst the vast rate of technological advancement in today’s world.

Abanulo, U., & Iyer, A., & Helferty, J., & Fischgrund, J. (2007, June), Engineering: Beyond Ears In Pre College Years Paper presented at 2007 Annual Conference & Exposition, Honolulu, Hawaii. 10.18260/1-2--1468

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