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Growing The Pool Of Engineers: Experiences In Hands On Learning At A Summer Engineering Academy

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2002 Annual Conference


Montreal, Canada

Publication Date

June 16, 2002

Start Date

June 16, 2002

End Date

June 19, 2002



Conference Session

ASEE Multimedia Session

Page Count


Page Numbers

7.598.1 - 7.598.13



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Paper Authors

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William Pierson

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Michael Robinson

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Betsy Dulin

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

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Session 2793

Growing the Pool of Engineers: Experiences in Hand-On Learning at a Summer Engineering Academy

William E. Pierson, Betsy Dulin, Michael Robinson

College of Information Technology and Engineering Marshall University


During the summer of 2001, Marshall University hosted the first annual Exploring Engineering: Academy of Excellence. The Academy hosted 29 high school students from the tri-state region of West Virginia, Kentucky, and Ohio who demonstrated an interest in and promise for careers in engineering. The event was sponsored by Marshall University in cooperation with the Huntington Post of the Society of American Military Engineers and Learning for Life. The academy was fully funded by contributions from local engineering firms and industries and a grant from the Nick J. Rahall Appalachian Transportation Institute.

The objective of the Academy was to promote interest in an engineering career by allowing participants to explore opportunities in engineering. Under the supervision of professional engineers and engineering faculty, the participants explored engineering as a career by engaging in hands-on engineering activities, touring engineering facilities, and interacting with engineers and students from all major engineering disciplines, including civil, chemical, electrical, mechanical, and environmental engineering. Activities were designed to promote the importance of problem-solving and team-building skills.

This paper will describe specific activities of the Academy and discuss lessons learned in organizing and conducting the first ever Exploring Engineering: Academy of Excellence. The paper will also discuss student reactions to the Academy and plans for the 2002 event.

I. Introduction

Despite the increasing influence of engineering and technology in our lives, interest in pursuing an undergraduate engineering degree has been on the decline since the mid-1980s.1,2 Furthermore, when compared to their proportion in the general population, women and minority groups continue to be significantly underrepresented in the engineering profession. 3,4 While overall enrollment in some technical fields has been driven up by an increase in female student enrollment, fields such as engineering and computer and information sciences have not benefited by an increased interest among women. 5 Proceedings of the 2002 American Society for Engineering Education Annual Conference & Exposition Copyright ã 2002, American Society for Engineering Education

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Pierson, W., & Robinson, M., & Dulin, B. (2002, June), Growing The Pool Of Engineers: Experiences In Hands On Learning At A Summer Engineering Academy Paper presented at 2002 Annual Conference, Montreal, Canada. 10.18260/1-2--11072

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