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Go With The Flow A Project Integrating K 12 Outreach, The Society Of Women Engineers, Service Learning, And Peer Mentoring

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2004 Annual Conference


Salt Lake City, Utah

Publication Date

June 20, 2004

Start Date

June 20, 2004

End Date

June 23, 2004



Conference Session

Retention: Keeping the Women Students

Page Count


Page Numbers

9.644.1 - 9.644.5



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Paper Authors

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Elizabeth Eschenbach

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NOTE: The first page of text has been automatically extracted and included below in lieu of an abstract

Session 1392

Go With the Flow - A Student Leadership Opportunity Integrating K-12 Outreach, the Society of Women Engineers, Service Learning and Peer Mentoring Elizabeth Eschenbach, Eileen Cashman

Environmental Resources Engineering Humboldt State University

Abstract This paper describes a multi-year project that involved the Humboldt State University Student Section of the Society of Women Engineers in a Service Learning project that now serves as a continuous outreach project to young children in the community. The SWE club oversaw the design, construction and use of a child sized flume for study of water physics that is now on display at a local children's science museum. Students in 3 different engineering classes that were offered repeatedly over 5 semesters were directly impacted by the project. Engineering students in a fluid mechanics class designed the flume via a SWE supported design competition. The SWE club then raised funds for the construction of the flume, which was built by the engineering department technician. The project was integrated into two other engineering courses in such a manner that senior engineering students worked with first year students as part of the same project. SWE members as well as other engineering students then took the flume to local schools and outreach events. The SWE students experienced fund raising, project management, and teaching K-12th grade physical science concepts. K-12th grade students were exposed to female engineering role models. Over 150 engineering students, as well as 3 engineering faculty were involved in the project in some capacity. 750 local children were exposed to the flume during SWE outreach activities. This project model could be used in other fields of engineering. This project incorporates K-12 outreach, Service Learning, peer mentoring and extracurricular service.

Project Overview In the fall of 1998, the Society of Women Engineers at Humboldt State University requested that the fluids mechanics class design a flume exhibit for the Redwood Discovery Museum, a local children’s science museum. Three of the 15 designs submitted best fulfilled the requirements. A composite of the three designs was developed and built, using funds raised from local businesses and a Society of Women Engineers Program Development Grant sponsored by the ExxonMobil Education Foundation. The flume was completed in the fall of 2000. In the academic years of 2000-2002, engineering students in freshman and senior design courses designed and built inserts for the flume as well as develop interpretive materials. During the 2000-2001 academic year, over 750 local children were exposed to the flume via SWE outreach activities. Over 150 engineering students were involved with this project as well as 3 engineering faculty. The flume is housed at the Redwood Discovery Museum, where museum visitors continually use it and learn how environmental engineers use flumes to study rivers and water physics. The flume is available for outreach visits to local schools. This paper focuses on the leadership opportunities this project provided for the Society of Women Engineers students. Another paper has described how this project was integrated into both freshman and senior design courses1.

Eschenbach, E. (2004, June), Go With The Flow A Project Integrating K 12 Outreach, The Society Of Women Engineers, Service Learning, And Peer Mentoring Paper presented at 2004 Annual Conference, Salt Lake City, Utah. 10.18260/1-2--13474

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