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Engineering Exploration Days – Recruiting High School Students Into Engineering Through Focused K 12 Outreach Efforts

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2005 Annual Conference


Portland, Oregon

Publication Date

June 12, 2005

Start Date

June 12, 2005

End Date

June 15, 2005



Conference Session

Recruiting, Retention & Advising

Page Count


Page Numbers

10.546.1 - 10.546.17



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Paper Authors

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Jane Rohrback

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Donald Carpenter

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Lisa Anneberg

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Andrew Gerhart

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

Engineering Exploration Days – Recruiting High School Students Into Engineering through focused K-12 Outreach Efforts

Donald D. Carpenter1, Andrew L. Gerhart2, Lisa Anneberg3, and Jane Rohrback4 1 Civil Engineering Department/ 2Mechanical Engineering Department/ 3 Electrical Engineering Department/ 4Office of Admissions Lawrence Technological University, Southfield, MI 48075


Faced with decreasing engineering enrollments, many institutions are now forced to consider new techniques for marketing the engineering field, as well as their programs, to high school students and teachers through expanded K-12 outreach events. This issue was addressed at Lawrence Technological University by hosting “exploration days” on campus. The premise behind these events is to give high school students the opportunity to explore engineering on our campus, thereby bringing them to “engineering” instead of taking engineering to them. Currently, there are two types of exploration days at Lawrence Tech, a general Engineering Exploration Day and focused program exploration days (for example, Civil Engineering Exploration Day). These events are joint partnerships between the College of Engineering and the Office of Admissions. Engineering faculty plan and conduct the hands-on technical sessions associated with the events, while the Office of Admissions handles the planning, administrative and promotion of the Exploration Days.

The Exploration Days consist of high school students spending a half day on our campus during a normal school day. During their time on campus, the high school students experience the various disciplines (or sub-disciplines) of engineering through a combination of presentations, interactive demonstrations, laboratory experiences, and hand’s-on activities. Depending on the exploration event, sessions have included utilizing a three dimensional river model to explore watershed processes, demonstrations by the Mini-Baja and Formula SAE competition teams, destructive testing of concrete beams, ballistics experiments, programming of electrical circuit boards, and building a small electronic musical instrument. Exploration Days have been conducted during the last three academic years with positive results both in terms of qualitative feedback as well as for recruitment of new students. The paper provides details on the planning and conducting of Exploration Days as an outreach event and will include administration issues as well as details of technical sessions.

Proceedings of the 2005 American Society for Engineering Education Annual Conference and Exposition Copyright © 2005, American Society for Engineering Education

Rohrback, J., & Carpenter, D., & Anneberg, L., & Gerhart, A. (2005, June), Engineering Exploration Days – Recruiting High School Students Into Engineering Through Focused K 12 Outreach Efforts Paper presented at 2005 Annual Conference, Portland, Oregon. 10.18260/1-2--15453

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