June 22, 2008
June 22, 2008
June 25, 2008
Women in Engineering
13.631.1 - 13.631.8
From 0 to 60 in 1 Year Abstract
The University of Cincinnati began a conversation in the fall of 2006 with two area all girls’ schools with the hope of providing these students the opportunity to become better informed regarding engineering and technology. Working with Mount Notre Dame High School and Mother of Mercy High School, the team first defined a program then developed that program for the schools and their students. One year later sixty young women participated in the first offering of a new course at these two schools. This paper describes the characteristics of the program and the methods used to present the course to the schools and their students.
Mt. Notre Dame and Mother of Mercy high schools individually contacted the University of Cincinnati with a request to work with them to promote engineering as an area of study for their students. A working group was formed along with Princeton high school (which has a large minority population.) The working group had no formal charter and no funding, only a common interest in providing greater opportunities for students.
The first major decision addressed was the establishment of the goals of the program – what did the collaborators want as an outcome of the efforts? The group concluded that rather than teaching engineering, the program goal would be as many students as possible should leave high school with a working knowledge of the practice of engineering. A related, secondary goal was established that students would have a clear understanding of the study of engineering and engineering technology and be equipped to make an informed decision to select (or not select) an engineering course of study for college. It is important to note that in order to serve their students well the high schools needed the course content and projects to provide an understanding of both engineering and engineering technology.
The next major step was to establish a pedagogical approach appropriate and meaningful for the student population. Through discussion, review of available materials and investigating existing programs the collaborators settled on a project-based approach to presenting the course. The decision was based on providing students engaging activities that demonstrated engineering concepts through problem solving rather than providing students significant material to read and learn. A text was identified that facilitated this approach – Engineering Your Future: A Project- Based Introduction to Engineering1.
With the course objective established and an appropriate text as a resource, the syllabus was crafted to accomplish the learning objectives. The course was developed in a modular fashion with the modules devoted to a branch of engineering / technology (e.g. civil, electrical) or a topic common to all branches (e.g. design, communication). The modules typically contain three elements: 1. Activities performed in the class room 2. Instruction on the topic 3. Readings from the text or other materials provided to the students
Rutz, E., & Shafer, M., & Lien, B., & Rost, C. (2008, June), From 0 To 60 In 1 Year Paper presented at 2008 Annual Conference & Exposition, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. 10.18260/1-2--3572
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