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Impact Of Undergraduate Robotics Research On Recruiting Freshman Students To Major In Engineering Physics, And Computer Science Fields

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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

Technology in the Physics or Engineering Physics C

Tagged Division

Engineering Physics & Physics

Page Count

7

Page Numbers

13.697.1 - 13.697.7

Permanent URL

https://peer.asee.org/3123

Download Count

30

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Paper Authors

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Baha Jassemnejad University of Central Oklahoma

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Wei Pee University of Central Oklahoma

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Engineering Lab Associate

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Mathew Mounce University of Central Oklhoma

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

The Role of Designing Robots to Promote the Interest of Incoming College Freshman Students to Major in Engineering and Computer Science Field

Abstract

The goal of this robotic research activity in the UCO’s Engineering and Physics department was to promote science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM ) among the incoming freshmen so that they will be encouraged to pursue a degree in Engineering, Physics, or computer science. The duration of this research activity was four weeks, during which time these students become familiar with research, teamwork, problem based learning, and the procedures involved in engineering design and building. The first phase of the activity, lasting for one week, involved an introduction to basic theory focusing on electronics, mechanics, programming, and engineering design processes. The second phase of the activity, lasting the remaining three weeks, involved researching, designing, and building a conceptual model and prototype of a minesweeper robot. With the facilitation of their peer mentors, students built a working scaled down model that could autonomously navigate, identify, and extract mines. Following the presentation of their project, these students expressed enthusiasm in pursuing a degree in engineering physics and computer science disciplines.

Introduction

The National science foundation and the International Association for the Evaluation of Educational Achievement reported that America is below average in science and mathematics education when compared to other countries. When comparing U.S. K-12 students to their international counterparts, a trend emerged. While U.S. students in the 4th and 8th grades score in the top percentile, 12th graders score at the bottom in math and science1. Without a strong background in mathematics and science, college freshmen face a more difficult time in their first year of college which leads to many science, computer science, and engineering majors changing their majors or quit college all together. For example, when examining the number of people graduating with bachelor degrees in engineering, the United States falls behind other countries. Even though we have the largest world economy and the fourth largest country by population, it only ranks sixth in the number of bachelor degrees awarded in engineering in 2000, reported by the National Science Foundation with the most recent comparable data available. China graduates almost four times as many engineers as the United States. Japan with less than half of the population of the United States, graduates almost twice as many engineers2. This is a crisis that has to be addressed and many organizations are trying to work towards increasing the number of STEM bachelor degrees awarded. The national science foundation in coordination with universities has developed a program called Summer Bridge. The goal of the Summer Bridge Program is to provide an intensive, four-week, enrichment experience to incoming STEM majors. It is designed to bridge the gap between high school and college by offering tools needed to help students succeed and graduate. The aim of our Department for the summer of 2007 was to develop a method through robotics research to increase student interest in STEM as well in

Jassemnejad, B., & Pee, W., & Mounce, M. (2008, June), Impact Of Undergraduate Robotics Research On Recruiting Freshman Students To Major In Engineering Physics, And Computer Science Fields Paper presented at 2008 Annual Conference & Exposition, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. https://peer.asee.org/3123

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