June 26, 2011
June 26, 2011
June 29, 2011
K-12 & Pre-College Engineering
22.711.1 - 22.711.13
Far-Post Assessment of a Sustainability Engineering High School Outreach ProgramThe Green Design Apprenticeship, offered since 2004 by the Green Design Institute at CarnegieMellon University, is an outreach program for gifted and talented high school students interestedin learning about academic and career options in engineering, especially options related tosustainability issues. The Green Design Apprenticeship is one of several apprenticeshipopportunities offered through the Gifted and Talented Program of the Allegheny IntermediateUnit (AIU) in Southwestern Pennsylvania. The AIU supports multiple school districts in the areawith special education needs that individual schools cannot support themselves. The AIUmarkets the Apprenticeship program to teachers and schools, accepts and evaluates applications,and selects the final cohort of students for each apprenticeship. Students who participate in theGreen Design Apprenticeship excel at science and math and have burgeoning interests inpursuing engineering, but want to learn more about the opportunities of the profession. Eachcohort has included approximately 20 participants mainly from higher achieving, suburbanschool districts.A main objective of the program is to introduce students to the intersection of engineeringdecision-making with environmental and social issues. The content of the program framesactivities around the theme of “life cycle thinking” and emphasizes the trade-offs in materialsand energy inputs and environmental impacts across life cycle stages. Current research work offaculty and graduate students affiliated with the Department of Civil and EnvironmentalEngineering and the Department of Engineering and Public Policy are highlighted throughout theprogram.We hope participants take this “life cycle thinking” into future academic and career endeavors,regardless of what engineering field (or non-engineering field) they decide to pursue. Post-program assessments indicate that participants were engaged in the activities, and were excited tolearn about engineering, and the role engineers have in society (Matthews, et al 2009). Perhapsthe best testament to the program’s success is that two past participants, both female, haveenrolled in the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering at Carnegie Mellon. Aninitial far-post survey of participants in the first 3 years of the program indicates that the programis influencing student decisions to enter engineering fields and fields where environmentalliteracy is a key consideration. A second far-survey of participants from more recent years isplanned for Fall 2010. The paper will present a brief overview of the program and content, butwill mainly focus on the long-term impact of the program. We will report on results from thefar-post surveys on the academic decisions of past participants, and the lasting messages studentsgleaned from the program.Matthews, D. H., T. R. Hawkins, P. Jaramillo, J. Marriott, and A. L. Sharrard. “The GreenDesign Apprenticeship: How an Outreach Program Strengthens Graduate Research” Journal ofIndustrial Ecology 2009 v13, n3, p467-476.
Matthews, D. H. (2011, June), Far-Post Assessment of a Sustainability Engineering High School Outreach Program Paper presented at 2011 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, Vancouver, BC. 10.18260/1-2--17992
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