Salt Lake City, Utah
June 23, 2018
June 23, 2018
July 27, 2018
Women in Engineering
The Society of Women Engineers section at the college of engineering has developed an outreach program to promote Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) to K-8 girls. Each year over 200 K-8 students from local schools are invited to spend a day where they get introduced to new science and engineering concepts as they team up and work on small projects and labs. While the goal of this outreach program is to promote STEM to unrepresented groups in the engineering discipline, it has also proven to provide a unique opportunity for undergraduate female engineering students to develop communications and leadership skills. Even though the nationwide percentage of women enrolled in engineering programs had improved to 13-15% in the last decade, the enrollment of female students in the author’s institution had elevated at 7-10% for many years. One of the main reasons, as explained by female students in our engineering program, was “not having been exposed to STEM growing up”. This lack of exposure had motivated SWE members to establish an outreach program on 2013 to promote STEM to young female students. The program promotes Engineering and Technology to young generations by inviting K-8 students from local schools to participate in a series of engineering related workshops, labs and activities. The program has doubled in size since 2013, expected to triple in 2018, and had proven to be very effective according to recent survey. Another important outcome was the effect the program had on undergraduate engineering students in general and females in particular. The event allowed students from several engineering organizations (Latinos in Technical careers LTC, National Society of Black Engineers NSBE, American Society of Civil Engineers, Women in Science and Engineering WiSE, and Mathematics Engineering Science Achievement MESA) to work together as teams and organize activities and labs. This collaboration between SWE and other clubs and organizations in the college helped in promoting diversity and inclusiveness in relation to gender, ethnicity, age and discipline. This paper represents an overview of “Imagineer day” history, planning and outcome in addition to a 3 years assessment of the activities’ impact on young girls, boys, and engineering students.
Mustafa, H., & Freese, S. A. (2018, June), Impact of “Imagineer Day”, an Outreach Program, on K-8 girls and Women in Engineering Paper presented at 2018 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition , Salt Lake City, Utah. https://peer.asee.org/30598
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