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Evaluation of the Impact of a Summer STEM program on Participant’s Perception and Knowledge of STEM Careers (Evaluation)

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2017 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition


Columbus, Ohio

Publication Date

June 24, 2017

Start Date

June 24, 2017

End Date

June 28, 2017

Conference Session

Pre-college: Summer Experiences for Students and Teachers (1)

Tagged Division

Pre-College Engineering Education Division

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Paper Authors


Kimberlyn Gray West Virginia University Inst. of Tech.

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Dr. Kimberlyn Gray is an Assistant Professor at West Virginia University Institute of Technology in the department of Chemical Engineering. She coordinated STEM outreach for the Leonard C. Nelson College of Engineering and Sciences.

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Stephany Coffman-Wolph West Virginia University Inst. of Tech.

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Dr. Stephany Coffman-Wolph is an Assistant Professor in the department of Computer Science and Information Systems at West Virginia University Institute of Technology (WVU Tech). Stephany is actively involved in community outreach with a goal of increasing the number of women in STEM and creating effective methods for introducing young children to CS concepts and topics. She is a founding member and co-Adviser of AWESOME (Association for Women Engineers, Scientists, Or Mathematician Empowerment) a student organization at WVU Tech. Her other research interests include: Artificial Intelligence, Fuzzy Logic, and Software Engineering.

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X University offers an annual summer program for high school and rising high school students interested in the Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM) fields. During this program, students spend a week on a college campus attending STEM classes taught by college professors, participate in engineering design projects and problem solving challenges, and attend a STEM related but fun field trip. Participants are mentored by both STEM professors and undergraduate STEM students throughout the week not only during classes and projects, but also during meals and free time. This less formal interaction outside of classes is crucial to allowing the high school students to feel comfortable asking questions and seeking career advice from both faculty and undergraduate students.

This summer program attracts many high school students from rural areas who have very little exposure to STEM careers and so strives to introduce students to STEM disciplines and careers through classes and guest speakers from industry. The main goals of this program are to (1) introduce students to a wide variety of STEM fields, (2) to increase their engineering and science knowledge, and (3) to help them learn what fields they are interested in pursuing (or not). During the summer of 2016, students were surveyed both pre and post their camp experience on their attitudes towards the STEM fields and their knowledge of the types of careers available to engineers and scientists. At the end of the week, the students were also surveyed on their likes and dislikes of the program. This paper will discuss the primary findings from the surveys and how these results will affect the future summer programs run by X University.

Gray, K., & Coffman-Wolph, S. (2017, June), Evaluation of the Impact of a Summer STEM program on Participant’s Perception and Knowledge of STEM Careers (Evaluation) Paper presented at 2017 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, Columbus, Ohio. 10.18260/1-2--28308

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