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Impact Of Pre College Program On High School Girls' Interest In Engineering

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Conference

2008 Annual Conference & Exposition

Location

Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

Publication Date

June 22, 2008

Start Date

June 22, 2008

End Date

June 25, 2008

ISSN

2153-5965

Conference Session

Potpourri II

Tagged Division

Women in Engineering

Page Count

7

Page Numbers

13.692.1 - 13.692.7

Permanent URL

https://peer.asee.org/4068

Download Count

22

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Paper Authors

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Betsy Homsher Kettering University

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Janet Brelin-Fornari Kettering University

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Terri Lynch-Caris Kettering University

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

Impact of Pre-College Program on High School Girls’ Interest in Engineering

Abstract

Lives Improve Through Engineering (LITE), introduces the field of engineering and its particular perspective for women during a two-week residential program held each summer at Kettering University. Since 2002, more than 150 11th graders have completed the program. Through classes, labs, hands-on activities, career seminars, and other program features, these rising seniors learn what engineers do and how engineering improves people’s lives. Pre- and post-program surveys indicate participant interest in engineering as a field of study and career choice builds substantially as a result of the program: 64% of the participants report increased interest in the field. LITE’s impact on high school girls is significant, to be sure. We have also found that the LITE Program benefits everyone involved in the program: mentors, faculty, and the University. Student mentors report renewed commitment to engineering. All of them describe their mentoring experience as personally “rewarding” and “fulfilling.” Faculty report increased satisfaction with teaching. And, the University enrolls 36% of all LITE participants, the majority of whom become exceptional students as well as contribute to the University’s diversity. LITE Program benefits extend even further. In one course, “Vehicle Collision Analysis and Occupant Protection”, LITE Program participants study real-world collisions and learn how safety systems save lives. Data collected indicates that seat belt usage, among participants and their passengers increased 72% following LITE Program participation. Clearly, teaching crash safety can save lives. This knowledge assumes particular significance as the death rate of teenagers in automobile collisions rises across the United States. LITE, it turns out, improves the lives of everyone involved, and many others, too.

Introduction

Lives Improve Through Engineering (LITE), introduces the field of engineering and its particular perspective for women during a two-week residential program held each summer at Kettering University. Since 2002, more than 150 11th graders have completed the program. Through classes, labs, hands-on activities, career seminars, and other program features, these rising seniors learn what engineers do and how engineering improves people’s lives. 1

Curriculum

The LITE Program curriculum was developed in response to a growing body of evidence that indicates young women are drawn to engineering when they see its potential for improving people’s lives. Through classes, labs, and career seminars, we link engineering and social values that young women care about; making important and unique contributions to the lives of individuals, as well as to American society.

The LITE curriculum consists of three tracks: academic, professional, and personal development. Faculty carry out intellectually rigorous classes and labs in subjects that capitalize on our professors’ expertise, as well as marketplace needs for engineers and scientists.

Homsher, B., & Brelin-Fornari, J., & Lynch-Caris, T. (2008, June), Impact Of Pre College Program On High School Girls' Interest In Engineering Paper presented at 2008 Annual Conference & Exposition, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. https://peer.asee.org/4068

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