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From College to K-12: Adapting Industrial Engineering Classroom Exercises for Outreach Purposes

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2015 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition


Seattle, Washington

Publication Date

June 14, 2015

Start Date

June 14, 2015

End Date

June 17, 2015





Conference Session

Industrial Engineering Division Technical Session 2

Tagged Division

Industrial Engineering

Page Count


Page Numbers

26.800.1 - 26.800.11



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Paper Authors


Dia St. John University of Arkansas

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Dia St. John is a Ph.D. Candidate in the Department of Industrial Engineering at the University of Arkansas where she also earned her B.S.I.E. and M.S.I.E. She is a member of IIE and serves as president for the Arkansas Student Chapter of INFORMS. This is her first submission to ASEE.

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Eric Specking University of Arkansas Orcid 16x16

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Eric Specking serves as the Director of Undergraduate Recruitment for the College of Engineering at the University of Arkansas. He directs the engineering recruitment office, most of the College of Engineering’s K-12 outreach programs, and the college's summer programs. He received a B.S. in Computer Engineering and a M.S. in Industrial Engineering from the University of Arkansas.

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From College to K-12: Adapting Industrial Engineering Classroom Exercises for Outreach PurposesOutreach activities are imperative in the recruitment and development of young engineers, a keydemographic in our culture’s future technological advancement. According to the U.S.Department of Labor, science and engineering related fields account for 50% of our country’ssustained economic growth but only 5% of the U.S. workforce. In addition, the percentage of theworld’s scientists and engineers that live and work in the United States has shrunk dramaticallyin recent years, dropping from 40% to 15% in the last three decades. In order to keep up with thesocietal innovations taking place around the world we need more engineers; therefore, additionalresources must be allocated to recruitment and outreach. Recruitment activities specific toindustrial engineering suffer from an additional obstacle: most students have no idea whatindustrial engineering is. It is, therefore, important that any outreach exercises are as specific aspossible while remaining understandable. They must go deep enough into the subject to allowstudents to recognize the ultimate goal of industrial engineering, to increase efficiency, withoutbecoming too technical for a young audience. A practical way to achieve this balance is throughthe modification of successful classroom assignments. This work will discuss several activitiesthat have been successfully used for K-12 student outreach at the University of ___ and are basedupon undergraduate class exercises. Each project will be presented in detail along with itscorresponding course assignment in order to motivate the exchange of creative ideas and developa framework for the adaptation of additional outreach activities.

St. John, D., & Specking, E. (2015, June), From College to K-12: Adapting Industrial Engineering Classroom Exercises for Outreach Purposes Paper presented at 2015 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, Seattle, Washington. 10.18260/p.24137

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