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Filling the Pipeline by Exciting Middle School Girls with Creative Projects

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Conference

2018 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition

Location

Salt Lake City, Utah

Publication Date

June 23, 2018

Start Date

June 23, 2018

End Date

July 27, 2018

Conference Session

Minorities in Engineering Division Technical Session 3

Tagged Division

Minorities in Engineering

Tagged Topic

Diversity

Page Count

18

Permanent URL

https://peer.asee.org/30517

Download Count

19

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Paper Authors

biography

Megan Charlotte Karbowski Loyola Marymount University

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Megan Karbowski recently received a B.S. degree in computer science from Loyola Marymount University where she participated in a university-funded summer research project to design hands-on activities for middle school girls. She is currently a Graduate Web Developer for ARUP.

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Mackenzie Tjogas Loyola Marymount University

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Mackenzie Tjogas is a Fullstack Software Engineer for Honey. She recently received a B.S. degree in Computer Science from Loyola Marymount University where she participated in a university-funded summer research project to design hands-on activities for middle school girls. Mackenzie was a part of Belles Service Organization throughout her time in college and worked with young girls in the LA community on a weekly basis through this organization. She incorporated STEM and specifically computer science into this work as often as she could.

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Carleen Petrosian

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Carleen Petrosian recently received a Bachelor's degree in Computer Science and a minor in Business Administration from Loyola Marymount University. During that time, she was a Software Engineering intern for American Bars and she participated in a university-funded summer research project to design hands-on activities for middle school girls. Her current research interests include visualization, human-computer interaction, and K-12 STEM outreach.

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Barbara E. Marino Loyola Marymount University

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Dr. Barbara E. Marino is an Associate Professor in the Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science at Loyola Marymount University. She also serves as the Undergraduate Director for the Electrical Engineering Program at LMU. Her current research interests include engineering design and K-12 STEM outreach. Dr. Marino received the B.S.E.E. degree in 1989 from Marquette University and the M.S. and Ph.D. degrees in electrical engineering from the University of Notre Dame in 1993 and 1996, respectively. In addition to her current positions she has held various positions at the Naval Research Laboratory and the Jet Propulsion Laboratory.

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Abstract

Despite some progress, the gender imbalance in electrical engineering and computer science in higher education and in industry have persisted. ASEE reported that in 2016, women made up just over 20 percent of students pursuing Bachelor’s degrees in engineering, with an even smaller percentage of women students pursuing degrees in electrical engineering (12.7%) and computer science (12.3%) (“By the Numbers”). To address this imbalance, educators and innovators have developed programs designed to invite, excite, and welcome girls to fields where they are underrepresented.

In the summer of 2016 I advised and directed four undergraduates as they developed “Filling the Pipeline,” a project aimed to encourage young women in STEM. The project aimed “to expose middle school girls to hands-on experiences with programming and electronics to spark their interest in technical fields.”

During the course of their university-funded summer research, these students designed six hands-on projects for middle school girls. The summer culminated in a one-day camp for middle school-aged girls, during which they participated in the projects. This one-day camp drew a small diverse array of students from a Los Angeles Unified School District middle school.

This presentation will focus on the planning and design principles that went into this project. It will detail strategies used for mentoring the undergraduate women involved in this project, since the overall summer research project was designed to help them think critically about what curricula and approaches best invite and excite younger women to move into technical fields. After presenting the projects, this presentation will also review survey feedback from both the college and middle school students.

Karbowski, M. C., & Tjogas, M., & Petrosian, C., & Marino, B. E. (2018, June), Filling the Pipeline by Exciting Middle School Girls with Creative Projects Paper presented at 2018 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition , Salt Lake City, Utah. https://peer.asee.org/30517

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