Virtual On line
June 22, 2020
June 22, 2020
June 26, 2021
Design in Engineering Education
“Near-Peer” mentoring has been shown to result in significant improvements in student engagement and achievement in STEM fields. This paper discusses the elements of a program between Independence High School (IHS) in San Jose and San Jose State University (SJSU) Mechanical Engineering to expand hands-on education and to encourage a STEM pathway for technical education of both the high school and SJSU students. IHS is a diverse high school with 97% minority students. Only 41% score as proficient in mathematics, and about half qualify for reduced-price or free lunches. SJSU ME Senior Design Project teams have been involved in this “Near-Peer” mentoring program connecting high school students with university mechanical engineering seniors. This is the 4th year of this collaboration, which focuses on automotive technology and has mutually benefited the mentors and mentees resulting in multiple high school students applying to schools of higher education and several that specifically have enrolled at SJSU.
This program assists with the challenge of preparing high school and university students for Silicon Valley high-skill careers directly in automotive technology and indirectly in other technical fields. Future transportation vehicles are expected to fit the ACES acronym of Autonomous, Connected, Electric, and Shared all as part of the expected new smart transportation systems.
Last year, two student teams partnered with the Santa Clara Valley Transportation Authority (VTA) to address two labor intensive bus maintenance issues applicable to more than 200 transit buses. With the help of IHS students, the SJSU students designed, built, and tested prototypes, including material fabrication, assembly and testing in both IHS and SJSU shops. This year two teams are partnering with Steven Creek Lexus to build a mechanized apparatus to remove the heavy high-voltage battery from Lexus hybrid vehicles and another apparatus to assist the technician reach awkward extended positions when working on elevated vehicles. Feedback from the IHS and SJSU instructors and students will included in the paper.
The STEM career pathway for high school students and the SJSU Senior Design capstone project is helping to build sustainable and locally-sourced Silicon Valley talent to fuel the region’s growth in the advanced transportation sector.
Mokri, J. S., & Okamoto, N., & Neagu, S. I. (2020, June), Implementation of a “Near-Peer” Mentoring Program between a High School Technology Class and a University Senior Design Engineering Class Paper presented at 2020 ASEE Virtual Annual Conference Content Access, Virtual On line . 10.18260/1-2--34767
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