June 23, 2013
June 23, 2013
June 26, 2013
Educational Research and Methods
23.557.1 - 23.557.8
The Perspective of Current Engineering Students on Pre-Engineering Outreach Activities There are many examples of engineering outreach activities designed to educate studentsabout the wide variety of jobs available with an engineering degree, demonstrate the accessibilityof engineering knowledge and encourage those who might be reluctant to take another look atengineering. Early outreach also allows students to start thinking about the possibility ofengineering far enough in advance to make sure they take the requisite high school courses toenter an engineering program. The most effective way to assess the success of such outreach programs is to follow theparticipating students and determine whether they successfully entered engineering programs.Longitudinal studies of this nature are however difficult to carry out because outreach programsdo not typically have the resources necessary to keep track of students. An alternative way toachieve the same objective is to consider the pre-engineering experiences of currently enrolledstudents. An examination of experiences that encouraged them to pursue engineering todetermine how and why they led to successful enrollment provides an indicator of whatcomponents could be the most effective if included in an outreach program. This study was conducted to explore the experiences of engineering students that helpthem learn about engineering, with the hope that understanding which experiences made themost impact may improve the planning of outreach activities. 974 students in their first year ofengineering were asked to describe the experiences and interactions that had the most influencewhen they were contemplating an engineering career. Findings indicate that pre-engineeringknowledge and experience, and therefore the reasons that students go into engineering, varygreatly. This paper will report students’ reasons for choosing engineering and discuss theimplications of these findings for outreach activities.
Bairaktarova, D., & Pilotte, M. K., & Evangelou, D., & Cox, M. F. (2013, June), Examining Reflections of Current Engineering Students on Educational Outreach Paper presented at 2013 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, Atlanta, Georgia. https://peer.asee.org/19571
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