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Engineering Summer Programs: A Strategic Model

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2015 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition


Seattle, Washington

Publication Date

June 14, 2015

Start Date

June 14, 2015

End Date

June 17, 2015





Conference Session

Evaluation: Exploring the Impact of Summer Programs on K-12 Youth.

Tagged Division

K-12 & Pre-College Engineering

Page Count


Page Numbers

26.644.1 - 26.644.22



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Paper Authors


Laura Bottomley North Carolina State University

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Dr. Laura Bottomley, ASEE Fellow, is the Director of Women in Engineering and The Engineering Place for K-20 Outreach and a Teaching Associate Professor in the Colleges of Engineering and Education at NC State University. She teaches an Introduction to Engineering class for incoming freshmen in the College and Children Design, Invent, Create, a course for elementary education students that introduces them to engineering design and technology as well as various electrical engineering classes.

In 2009 Dr. Bottomley was selected for a Presidential Award for Excellence in Mathematics, Science and Engineering Mentoring by the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy and by the Educational Activities Board of the IEEE for an Informal Education Award. She was also inducted into the YWCA Academy of Women in 2008 for her contributions to eliminating racism and empowering women and was selected as the 2011 Woman of the Year by the RTP chapter of Women in Transportation. In 2013 she was named one of 125 Transformational Women by NC State University.

In her role as director of The Engineering Place at NC State, Dr. Bottomley and her colleagues reach more than 10,000 students, 2000 teachers and 1500 parents each year. The programs she leads include summer camps for K-12 students; programs that send undergraduates and graduate students into schools to work with elementary and middle school students; training sessions for NC State engineering alumni who want to be volunteer teachers in their communities; and professional development and classroom support for K-12 teachers who want to introduce engineering concepts to their young students. In addition, she co-authored statewide engineering standards for K-12 and delivers teacher professional development in integrated STEM.
Bottomley also directs NC State’s Women in Engineering program, which works to boost the number of women engineers in academia and industry. The NC State Women in Engineering Program was selected as the outstanding program for 2008 by WEPAN, the Women in Engineering Program Advocates Network for the progress made in recruiting and retaining women students in engineering at NC State University.
In addition to her roles at the University, Dr. Bottomley has taught fifth grade science as a volunteer consultant, helped schools reinvent themselves as engineering magnet schools and acted as a consultant to the N.C. Dept. of Public Instruction and Wake County Public Schools. She served on a national team for the National Assessment of Educational Progress developing an assessment for engineering and technological literacy, works with IEEE and the National Academy of Engineering on the Engineering Equity Extension Project and served as a curriculum consultant on a National Science Foundation Gender Equity grant. She also co-authored the Engineering Connections to STEM document published by the North Carolina Department of Public Instruction. She is currently serving on a committee with the National Academy of Engineering, Guiding the Implementation of K-12 Engineering.

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Jerome P. Lavelle North Carolina State University

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Jerome P. Lavelle is Associate Dean of Academic Affairs in the College of Engineering at North Carolina State University. His teaching and research interests are in the areas of engineering economic analysis, decision analysis, project management, leadership, engineering management and engineering education.

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Susan Beth D'Amico NC State University

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Susan B. D’Amico
Coordinator of Engineering K-12 Outreach Extension
The Engineering Place
College of Engineering
NC State University

Susan earned a B.S in Industrial Engineering from NC State and has worked in the

Telecom and Contract Manufacturing Industries for over 25 years as an Industrial Engineer, Process Engineer, Manufacturing Engineer, Project Manager, Business Cost Manager and Program Manager. Inspired by coursework she developed and presented as an engineer, her professional path made a turn towards education by completing coursework for lateral entry teaching.

Susan now works for The Engineering Place, the K-12 outreach arm for NC State
University’s College of Engineering, as a coordinator for Outreach. Her main
responsibility is to manage the week long Day and Residential Summer Engineering Camps for rising 3rd through 12th graders in Raleigh and throughout the growing number of partner locations throughout the state of North Carolina. Over 1,700 children will be attending one of her engineering camps during the summer of 2015.

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Landon Drew LaPorte North Carolina State University

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Graduate Research Assistant at the Friday Institute, North Carolina State University

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Engineering Summer Programs: A Strategic ModelXXXX is the umbrella program for all engineering K-12 outreach, extension and engagementactivities at XXXX University. Operating under the Office of Academic Affairs this unit lastyear had over 10,000 touches with K-12 students, parents and teachers across (state). XXXX isXXXX University’s K–20 education and resource headquarters for exploring engineering.Through hands-on summer camps, in-school mentoring, dynamic volunteer programs, topicalworkshops and much more, XXXX builds excitement around engineering for students andteachers.The XXXX and the College of Engineering have offered summer camps for almost 20 years.Over time the focus, purpose and strategy associated with the planning and executing the campshas matured to support the current 37 camps per summer, offered to students in grades 2-12 andat various locations across the state. Several design elements of the XXXX summer camps areparticularly unique. A few of these include: the staff for the camps is assembled from acombination of engineering educators, K-12 educators, engineering undergraduate students, andhigh school students in a tiered mentoring arrangement that has had long term impact on all ofthe participants, as supported by data. The camps are designed to be financially self-supporting,including provision for at least five percent scholarships. The camp curriculum is linked tocutting edge research activities in the College, with specific attention to the tenets put forward inthe NAE document, Changing the Conversation. The attendance at the camps averages 30-40%female and 35-40% underrepresented ethnic minorities with no specific targeted recruiting.This paper describes the details of the design of the summer programs, how partnerships aredeveloped, and give assessment results from more than fifteen years of camps.

Bottomley, L., & Lavelle, J. P., & D'Amico, S. B., & LaPorte, L. D. (2015, June), Engineering Summer Programs: A Strategic Model Paper presented at 2015 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, Seattle, Washington. 10.18260/p.23982

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