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Girl Scouts STEM Day Program

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Conference

2020 ASEE Virtual Annual Conference Content Access

Location

Virtual On line

Publication Date

June 22, 2020

Start Date

June 22, 2020

End Date

June 26, 2021

Conference Session

Women in Engineering Division Technical Session 5

Tagged Division

Women in Engineering

Tagged Topic

Diversity

Page Count

13

DOI

10.18260/1-2--34708

Permanent URL

https://peer.asee.org/34708

Download Count

55

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Paper Authors

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Jiahui Song Wentworth Institute of Technology

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Jiahui Song received her B.S. in Automation and M.S. in Pattern Recognition & Intelligent Systems from Southeast University. She received her Ph.D. in Electrical and Computer Engineering from Old Dominion University. She is currently an Associate Professor in the Department of Electrical Engineering and Technology at Wentworth Institute of Technology.

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Douglas Eric Dow Wentworth Institute of Technology

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Professor at Wentworth Institute of Technology in the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering (started 2008). Education B.A. in Liberal Arts Engineering from Wheaton College (Wheaton, IL); B.S. in Electrical Engineering from Texas A&M University (College Station, TX); M.S. in Computer Science from University of Colorado (Colorado Springs, CO); M.S. and Ph.D. in Biomedical Engineering from University of Michigan (Ann Arbor, MI). Worked in industry for about 9 years at Ampex Corporation (video systems manufacturing) in Colorado Springs CO, Panasonic (central research lab) in Osaka, Japan, and National University of Singapore (center for image enhanced medicine) in Singapore. Post Doc or Sabbatical research was done at Tohoku University (biology information systems) in Sendai, Japan, Mayo Clinic (respiration research lab) in Rochester MN, and Kansai University (knowledge information systems) in Osaka, Japan. Core focus involves embedded electronic systems for applications in medical rehabilitation, health monitoring, physical therapy and assistive technologies. This involves development of hardware and software systems with sensors, embedded control and mechanical actuators. Applications include respiration monitoring, sleep apnea, rehabilitation of impaired muscle for recovery of motor function, health monitoring for elderly to extend independent living, and diabetes management. These systems utilize internet of things (IoT) for remote communication between patient, medical staff, care-givers and instrumentation.

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Gloria Guohua Ma Wentworth Institute of Technology

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Gloria Ma is a Professor in the Department of Mechanical Engineering and Technology. She has been teaching robotics with Lego Mindstorm to ME freshmen for several years. She is actively involved in community services of offering robotics workshops to middle- and high-school girls. Her research interests are dynamics and system modeling, geometry modeling, project based engineering design, and robotics in manufacturing.

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James R McCusker PhD Wentworth Institute of Technology

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James R. McCusker is an Associate Professor at Wentworth Institute of Technology in the Department of Electrical Engineering. Since joining Wentworth in 2010, he has been heavily involved with an array of interdisciplinary design courses that range from introductory to capstone courses.

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Abstract

Girl Scouts STEM Day Program

Careers in engineering help a person to both contribute toward solving problems in society and environment, and live independently with available work. Nevertheless, a disproportionate number of females have not entered careers in engineering. One factor for the low participation may be insufficient exposure to compelling engineering activities at an early age. As a response, many educators and activists have initiated STEM activities for younger women to engage in, and potentially increase their interest and likelihood to pursue engineering pathways. One example is a STEM day for Girl Scouts that has been organized at our institute for several years. Girl Scouts STEM day is a program to help 4th or 5th grade students explore STEM activities and learn about some of the engineering fields. The event organization is led by the Society of Women Engineers (SWE). The core part of the day has small groups of Girl Scouts rotate between workshops. These workshops were conducted by faculty from different departments. In each workshop, one faculty and several college student volunteers, led by the SWE student chapter, introduced and guided the activity. Members of Girl Scouts participate in STEM-related hands-on workshops. The event was first started at our university in 2014 with 30 students, and has grown to 75 students in 2019. In the past six years, over 340 girl scouts participated in the skills-based workshops and hands-on projects.

The one day program started with a team building, active experience followed by inspiring speeches by women leaders in their careers. Then the students break into small groups and rotate through five different STEM workshops: Biomedical Engineering, Electrical Engineering, Manufacturing Engineering, Computer Science, and Science. There was about forty five minutes for each workshop. Descriptions and observations of the Biomedical Engineering, Electrical Engineering, and Manufacturing Engineering workshops are presented in this paper. The Biomedical Engineering project involved sensors for muscle force and electromyography with resulting graphs. The Electrical Engineering project involved an LED Dexterity Challenge. The Manufacturing Engineering project had the students manufacture a miniature Bowling Pin. A survey was conducted to collect data right after the students completed each workshop to evaluate the content of the workshop. 244 girl scouts members participated in the STEM program and took the survey in the past three years. The survey showed 96% students enjoyed Biomedical Engineering project, 95% students enjoyed Electrical Engineering workshop activity while 94% of the students enjoyed Manufacturing Engineering. Students reflected that they would like to participate more STEM related activities in the future.

The program was motivated to expose young girls to STEM fields, boost interests and give them more hands-on experience. It could also contribute toward the likelihood of these girl scouts to pursue STEM pathways and possibly enter engineering fields.

Song, J., & Dow, D. E., & Ma, G. G., & McCusker, J. R. (2020, June), Girl Scouts STEM Day Program Paper presented at 2020 ASEE Virtual Annual Conference Content Access, Virtual On line . 10.18260/1-2--34708

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