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High School Outreach: A Look At Renewable Energy

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2007 Annual Conference & Exposition


Honolulu, Hawaii

Publication Date

June 24, 2007

Start Date

June 24, 2007

End Date

June 27, 2007



Conference Session

K-12 Engineering Outreach Programs

Tagged Division

K-12 & Pre-College Engineering

Page Count


Page Numbers

12.805.1 - 12.805.16



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Paper Authors


Taryn Bayles University of Maryland-Baltimore County

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Taryn Bayles is a Professor the Practice of Chemical Engineering in the Chemical and Biochemical Engineering Department at UMBC, where she teaches, the Introduction to Engineering Design course, among other Chemical Engineering courses. Her research interests include engineering education and outreach. She has been active in developing curriculum to introduce engineering concepts to K-12 students.

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Jonathan Rice University of Maryland-Baltimore County

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Jonathan Rice is a Masters student in the Chemical and Biochemical Engineering Department at the University of Maryland, Baltimore County (UMBC). He obtained his bachelor’s degree in Chemical Engineering in 2006 also at UMBC, graduating Magna Cum Laude and with an Honors College certificate. His current research at UMBC involves curriculum development and outreach in the field of engineering education and he currently serves as the teaching fellow for UMBC’s Introduction to Engineering course.

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Greg Russ University of Maryland-Baltimore County

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Gregory Russ graduated Magna Cum Laude in 2006 with a BS degree in Chemical Engineering from the Universtiy of Maryland, Baltimore Couty. He is currently pursuing a MS degree in Chemical Egnineering with focus on Engineering Education, also from UMBC. He is a member of several prestigious honor societies, most notably the engineering honor society, Tau Beta Pi.

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Tania Monterastelli University of Maryland-Baltimore County

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Tania Monterastelli is an undergraduate honors student in Chemical Engineering at the University of Maryland, Baltimore County. She has been working on various high school outreach programs and has assisted with data analysis of student learning.

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

High School Outreach: A Look at Renewable Energy


YESS (Young Engineers and Scientists Seminars is an enrichment program for gifted and talented high school students from the Baltimore/Washington areas who have a strong aptitude in mathematics and science fields. Letters are sent to Science, Mathematics, Technology and Engineering High School teachers requesting the nomination of students for participation in the program. This program was founded in 2002 and is funded by the Historical Electronics Museum with a grant from Northrop Grumman. YESS has presented speakers on topics as diverse as plasma physics, stealth radar, biomedical imagery, super computers/micro technology, aeronautical engineering, astrophysics and satellite reconnaissance.

In recent years, the program has been revised from a strictly seminar series, to a hands-on program designed to help students understand the engineering design process. Two-hour sessions are held biweekly and students learn how to go from brainstorming to designing, building, and testing. The objective of the 2006 program is for students to learn about renewable energy sources. The overarching project, performed in teams, is to design an energy system which harnesses (from a renewable source), stores, transports, and converts the energy to function a small light bulb. The effectiveness of each energy system will be judged based on the power generated from the renewable source, the overall system efficiency versus a cost analysis of the system.

Each week, a technical expert will speak about a topic relative to the use of science and engineering in the advancement of renewable energy. These presentations include: So You Want to Be An Engineer, The Engineering Method, Power and Energy Conversion, Ethics and Critical Reasoning in Engineering, Power Transmission & Delivery and Solar Technology & Power Systems and Power. Following each seminar, students participated in a fun-filled game of Who Wants To Be An Engineer modeled after the popular television game show Who Wants to Be a Millionaire. This activity posed a number of questions to make students consider the lessons presented in prior lectures, as well as the application of renewable energy in the world today. After the conclusion of the game, students participate in mini hands-on design challenges, which require the utilization of newly-learned concepts as well as general engineering methods. Following the five sessions of seminars and mini challenges, the students must combine concepts they have learned to determine the optimal source and methodology to design, construct and test the most efficient renewable energy system.

The overall effectiveness of the YESS program will be determined based on observation of an improvement in implementation of engineering concepts and methods as the program progresses. To assist with this analysis, each team is required to keep a design notebook to document the evolution of the final design. In addition, participants complete pre- and post-surveys measuring interest, attitude and content knowledge of the engineering design process and the underlying principles associated with a successful

Bayles, T., & Rice, J., & Russ, G., & Monterastelli, T. (2007, June), High School Outreach: A Look At Renewable Energy Paper presented at 2007 Annual Conference & Exposition, Honolulu, Hawaii. 10.18260/1-2--2334

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