June 24, 2007
June 24, 2007
June 27, 2007
K-12 & Pre-College Engineering
12.629.1 - 12.629.11
Engineering Enterprise Alliance A K-12, University and Industry Initiative to Create a Pathway to Engineering and Science Careers
Since the fall of 2000, Michigan Technological University’s undergraduate Enterprise Program (www.enterprise.mtu.edu) of cross-disciplinary problem solving and product generation has created active learning environments for undergraduate students across campus. Teams of students from a variety of disciplines are given an opportunity to work in a business-like setting to solve real-world engineering problems supplied by industry. Through participation in the program, Enterprise students are able to develop technical competence as well as an understanding of the practical application of skills and knowledge in areas such as communication, business, leadership, teamwork, global competition, and entrepreneurship.
Michigan Tech strongly believes that in order to increase the number of students who select to enroll in technical programs, students must be introduced to engineering and science while they are in elementary and secondary school. The hands-on educational model of the Enterprise Program has been very successful in generating an excitement about engineering and science at the undergraduate level, so expanding this model to the K-12 system would seem to be a natural progression.
Michigan Tech is in the process of working with high school teachers in local school districts to create an Enterprise-like model that builds upon the success of the undergraduate program, yet is tailored for the secondary learning environment. A joint team of MTU and high school faculty and administrators have been working together to develop a precollege-enterprise experience designed to introduce and involve students in engineering and technology. Project based, contextual learning experiences will be the foundation of the program, and are intended to increase the technological awareness of the future workforce. Our goal is to develop and implement a model at the regional level that can be readily transferred to the state and national levels.
This paper will summarize the process used at Michigan Tech to develop a pre-college enterprise program structure, the model to be piloted in fall 2007, and associated challenges encountered such as driving change in the high school curriculum, development of a support structure and proposed mechanisms to sustain the program beyond the pilot year.
In 2004, Michigan’s Lt. Governor’s Commission on Higher Education and Economic Growth (“Cherry Commission”) was tasked by Michigan Governor Jennifer Granholm to formulate policy recommendations to achieve three goals:
Oppliger, D., & Oppliger, S., & Raber, M., & Warrington, R. (2007, June), Engineering Enterprise Alliance: A K 12, University And Industry Initiative To Create A Pathway To Engineering And Science Careers Paper presented at 2007 Annual Conference & Exposition, Honolulu, Hawaii. 10.18260/1-2--2423
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