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Immersing High School Students In Engineering And Entrepreneurship

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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

Engineering Entrepreneurship and K-12 Education

Tagged Division

Entrepreneurship & Engineering Innovation

Page Count


Page Numbers

12.824.1 - 12.824.12



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Paper Authors


David Feinauer University of Kentucky

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David Michael Feinauer was born in May, 1981. He received his BSEE from the University of Kentucky in 2003. As an undergraduate, David was awarded the distinction of the outstanding junior and outstanding senior in the Electrical and Computer Engineering Department. He is currently pursuing his Ph.D. at the University of Kentucky in the area of Symbolic Controls. As a graduate student, David has served as a research and teaching assistant, and co-authored 4 research publications. David is also the co-founder and Associate Director of UK's Engineering Summer Program. David has served as the IEEE student Branch Chair, and is a recipient of the Wethington, Presidential, and Lexmark Fellowships.

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Bruce Walcott University of Kentucky

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

Immersing High School Students in Engineering and Entrepreneurship


The University of Kentucky Engineering Summer Program is an immersive, one-week, residential program incorporating engineering and entrepreneurship curricula for Kentucky’s top, rising high school seniors. The program’s main objectives include: apprising students of the role of innovation in a global economy, educating them about the various engineering disciplines, informing students of the opportunities available to engineering graduates, acquainting them with the business development process, convincing students of the importance of being entrepreneurial, improving their communication and teamwork skills, and recruiting students for further engineering and entrepreneurial pursuits. The goals of the program are accomplished through the use of team building exercises, hands-on engineering labs, company tours, networking opportunities, and a group business venture competition. The program increases the participants’ understanding of engineering and entrepreneurship. Additionally, it improves the students’ attitudes toward engineering by combating stereotypes and demonstrating its expansive relevance. Demographic data on the program participants, their current academic pursuits, and program assessment results are presented.


The primary objective of the Engineering Summer Program (ESP) is to apprise rising (to be) high school seniors of the importance of being innovative in a global economy through an immersive, one-week, residential program incorporating engineering and entrepreneurship curricula. Secondary objectives of the program include: educating students about engineering as an academic major, informing students of the numerous career and professional opportunities afforded to engineering graduates, acquainting students with the process of evolving innovative ideas into business ventures, convincing students of the importance of being entrepreneurial in their future endeavors, improving students’ communication and teamwork skills, and recruiting students for further academic and entrepreneurial pursuits in the University of Kentucky (UK) College of Engineering. In order to meet these objectives, the students participate in a number of activities including team building exercises, hands-on engineering labs, engineering company tours, networking opportunities, a group business venture competition, and recreational activities. Through the group project, students are involved in concept development, product design, prototyping, business plan development, and public presentation.

This paper will be comprised of five main sections. The first section will outline the engineering and business curricular components designed to meet the stated program objectives. Next, a brief description of the capstone group design project and presentation competition will be presented. Subsequently, the college and community resources involved in the program execution will be discussed. An analysis of the Engineering Summer Program’s successes and shortcomings using qualitative and quantitative assessment data compiled from participants’ pre and post surveys will follow. Lastly, a summary of the lessons learned throughout the four years of the program’s execution will be presented.

Feinauer, D., & Walcott, B. (2007, June), Immersing High School Students In Engineering And Entrepreneurship Paper presented at 2007 Annual Conference & Exposition, Honolulu, Hawaii. 10.18260/1-2--2172

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