Asee peer logo

Impact of “Imagineer Day”, an Outreach Program, on K-8 girls and Women in Engineering

Download Paper |


2018 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition


Salt Lake City, Utah

Publication Date

June 23, 2018

Start Date

June 23, 2018

End Date

July 27, 2018

Conference Session

Women in Engineering Technical Session

Tagged Division

Women in Engineering

Tagged Topic


Page Count




Permanent URL

Download Count


Request a correction

Paper Authors


Hadil Mustafa California State University, Chico

visit author page

Dr. Mustafa received a Ph.D. in Electrical and Computer Engineering from the University of California at Irvine in 2012. In 2005, she received M.S. in Electrical and Computer Engineering from California State University, Los Angeles. She is currently an Assistant Professor at California State University, Chico specializing in embedded systems design, cyber-physical systems, Computer architecture design, FPGA-based systems design, and Engineering educational innovation and research. Currently, she is a member of the McLeod Institution of Simulation Sciences at Chico state working on evaluating multi-FPGA communication protocols in high-speed real-time simulations and teaches courses in Embedded Systems Design, High-Performance Computing, and Digital Systems Design. She has been actively involved in implementing and evaluating new pedagogical approaches in her classes to promote students’ success and improve retention rates. She has been serving as the Society of Women’s Engineers advisor since 2015.

visit author page


Shelby Ann Freese

visit author page

Shelby Freese is a fourth-year Sustainable Manufacturing Engineering student at California State University, Chico. Shelby currently owns two roles in SWE, as she is the Section President of Chico State, and the Region A Collegiate Senator. She has been involved with Society of Women Engineers for almost 4 years, accounting for her entire Undergraduate Collegiate Career. Some of Shelby’s passions include hosting Outreach Events, such as Imagineer Day, giving back to her community through various volunteering activities, and teaching middle school girls in her A Local Outreach Program alongside Hadil Mustafa. She has won various awards, including the Region A Future Collegiate Leader Award (2017), Region A Outstanding Collegiate Leader Award (2018), and the Chico State Mac Martin Excellence in Leadership Award (2018). She has career aspirations to be in the Automotive/Racing Industry. As she has plans to remain and be an active member in SWE as a Professional Member, upon graduation in May of 2019.

visit author page

Download Paper |


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. 10.18260/1-2--30598

ASEE holds the copyright on this document. It may be read by the public free of charge. Authors may archive their work on personal websites or in institutional repositories with the following citation: © 2018 American Society for Engineering Education. Other scholars may excerpt or quote from these materials with the same citation. When excerpting or quoting from Conference Proceedings, authors should, in addition to noting the ASEE copyright, list all the original authors and their institutions and name the host city of the conference. - Last updated April 1, 2015