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Everything I Know I Learned In Kindergarten: Examples Of Synergisms Between K 12 Outreach And Recruitment And Retention Of Women And Minorities In Engineering

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2004 Annual Conference


Salt Lake City, Utah

Publication Date

June 20, 2004

Start Date

June 20, 2004

End Date

June 23, 2004



Conference Session

ChE Outreach and Recruitment

Page Count


Page Numbers

9.586.1 - 9.586.15

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Paper Authors

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Ellen Ford

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Keith Levien

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Ellen Momsen

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Willie (Skip) Rochefort

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

Session 2113

Everything I know I learned in Kindergarten: Examples of Synergisms between K-12 Outreach and Recruitment and Retention of Women and Minorities in Engineering

Willie E. (Skip) Rochefort, Keith Levien, Ellen Ford, and Ellen Momsen

Chemical Engineering Dept., Oregon State University/Willamette Valley Saturday Academy, OSU/ COE Women and Minorities Program, OSU

Abstract Most people by now have heard (and probably chuckled at) the statement, “All I really need to know I learned in Kindergarten”. While this may not be factually or chronologically accurate, it certainly embodies the spirit of K-12 Outreach in that it acknowledges that early and continued exposure to science and engineering are keys to getting and keeping students interested in science and engineering career s. In the Spring of 2003 the Oregon State University College of Engineering was awarded a grant from the Flora and William Hewlett Foundation for the specific purpose of recruitment and retention of students into engineering, and in particular women and minorities. Approximately one-quarter of the funds allocated in that grant were targeted for K-12 outreach activities, acknowledging the importance of early exposure to both recruitment and retention of women and minorities in engineering.

The influx of funding from the Hewlett grant had a significant impact on both the expansion of existing high school outreach programs (Summer Experience in Science and Engineering for Youth (SESEY) and Saturday Academy Apprenticeships in Science and Engineering) and allowed for the development of several new programs targeted primarily at K-8 students. The emphasis in these programs is on the delivery of science and engineering content in a way that is attractive to young people, and on the development of modules for dissemination to K-8 science teachers . The new programs developed and discussed are: 1) E-Camp, a one week, non- residential engineering camp for middle school girls and boys that attracted 26 students (11 girls, 15 boys,); 2) LEGO- Robotics, a one week, non-residential camp for middle school boys (20 students), and a separate mixed gender camp (6 girls/5 boys); 3) Advocates for Women in Science, Engineering and Math (AWSEM), an after school club for middle school girls with women undergraduate and graduate student mentors; 4) Spirited Kids in Engineering and Science (SKIES), an 11 week non-residential summer camp for K-8 students (approx. 400 kids) that used a “holistic learning” approach, turning a “traditional” summer sports/crafts day camp into an experience that “exercises” both the body and mind of kids throughout the “lazy days of summer”.

“Proceedings of the 2004 American Society for Engineering Education Annual Conference and Exposition Copyright© 2003, American Society for Engineering Education”

Ford, E., & Levien, K., & Momsen, E., & Rochefort, W. S. (2004, June), Everything I Know I Learned In Kindergarten: Examples Of Synergisms Between K 12 Outreach And Recruitment And Retention Of Women And Minorities In Engineering Paper presented at 2004 Annual Conference, Salt Lake City, Utah.

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