June 24, 2017
June 24, 2017
June 28, 2017
Women in Engineering
The under-representation of females in the engineering profession and education programs is evident. However, the cause of this under-representation is not clear. The literature contains many related research studies, but the convergence on a definitive cause is lacking. Another unexplained phenomenon is the non-uniform female enrolment across the various engineering disciplines, with disciplines such as chemical engineering having a higher female enrolment than mechanical engineering. We hypothesize that secondary students’ gendered perceptions of the engineering profession and education programs, disciplines, typical engineering skill set (and self-evaluation against this skill set) are significant factors in explaining the under-representation and non-uniform discipline subscription. The first stage of this multi-stage project, as documented in a previous paper titled, “Methodology for Studying Gendered Differences Amongst Secondary Student Perceptions of Engineering,” was to design and validate a survey tool to test our hypothesis. The second stage, and the focus of this paper, was to pilot this survey tool in a secondary school classroom to collect data during a series of in-class engineering promotion workshops. The quantitative (multiple choice), semi-quantitative (Likert-like scale), and qualitative (open ended) responses were analysed using descriptive statistics and coding for trends amongst: 1) all students, 2) female students, and 3) male students. These trends were then compared and contrasted to identify where female students held distinctly different perceptions and priorities than their male counterparts. These findings have implications for the design of targeted engineering outreach programs to better recruit the next generation of female engineers.
Bazylak, J., & Childs, R., & Bazylak, A. (2017, June), Female vs Male Secondary Students: Comparing and Contrasting Perceptions of Engineering Paper presented at 2017 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, Columbus, Ohio. 10.18260/1-2--28354
ASEE holds the copyright on this document. It may be read by the public free of charge. Authors may archive their work on personal websites or in institutional repositories with the following citation: © 2017 American Society for Engineering Education. Other scholars may excerpt or quote from these materials with the same citation. When excerpting or quoting from Conference Proceedings, authors should, in addition to noting the ASEE copyright, list all the original authors and their institutions and name the host city of the conference. - Last updated April 1, 2015