June 14, 2015
June 14, 2015
June 17, 2015
26.817.1 - 26.817.7
Generating Interest in ET through High School CompetitionsFinding ways to generate interest in Engineering Technology (ET) is an ongoing challenge for manycolleges and universities. Starting early is always recommended; however, employing recruitmentinitiatives even in high school may yield success when the right motivators are used. Having strongcorporate partnerships not only enables delivery of specialized programs but also strengthens the messagefrom both an academic and industry perspective.The authors partnered with an international manufacturing company that offered a national competition tohigh school students as part of their STEM outreach. Although the event was labeled as being national,the vast majority of teams were located near the company’s headquarters. The recruitment begins inOctober and the final contest is in mid-February. There are several checkpoints along the way whichdetermine whether a team has accomplished enough to stay in the contest.In 2012, the company invited the authors to help them make the competition more structured andselective by adding regional competitions that would send their best teams to the national contest.Although the timetable for the national contest was already well underway, if the authors could recruit atleast four teams, they would support a regional contest for that competition cycle. Within a week, theauthors were able to recruit thirteen teams, so a regional competition was instituted. One or more teamsdropped out at each of the checkpoints along the way, but by the time of the regional tournament, fourteams still remained. The top two regional teams were able to compete in the national contest, and bothplaced in the top five among a pool of nearly twenty teams.Competing student teams employed their creativity and technical knowledge to innovate products thataddressed the specifications defined by the company. In the process, the students learned more aboutopportunities to pursue ET fields of study that would enable them to have careers related to the funexperience of the competition.In 2013, the industry partner added a second regional site, so the top three teams from each regioncompeted in the national contest in February 2014. The authors’ regional began with a pool of 18 teamsof which 9 satisfied requirements at all checkpoints to compete in the nationals. Based on the successes ofthe 2014 regional framework, the industry partner added a third regional, also managed by the authors.The authors believe this type of competition is a good way to forge strong relationships with a corporatepartner while simultaneously sparking student interest in ET. More details about the contest, includingupdates regarding the status of the current competition, will be presented in the paper and presentation.
Harriger, A. R., & Harriger, B. C. (2015, June), Generating Interest in ET Through High School Competitions Paper presented at 2015 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, Seattle, Washington. 10.18260/p.24154
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: © 2015 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