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Increasing Diversity in Engineering: A K-6 Summer Outreach Program for Dyslexic Children

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2013 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition


Atlanta, Georgia

Publication Date

June 23, 2013

Start Date

June 23, 2013

End Date

June 26, 2013



Conference Session

Supporting Diversity in Engineering

Tagged Division

K-12 & Pre-College Engineering

Page Count


Page Numbers

23.736.1 - 23.736.9



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Paper Authors


Lyndsey Alyssa Wright Colorado School of Mines

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Lyndsey Wright is working towards an M.S. in Applied Mathematics at the Colorado School of Mines. Her research is on Numerical Methods for Poisson's Equation; she has also worked on various K-12 outreach and course assessment projects.

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Barbara M. Moskal Colorado School of Mines

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Increasing Diversity in Engineering Outreach: A Summer Program for the Dyslexic (Work In Progress)It has long been recognized that the advancement of engineering and science requires theparticipation and contributions of a diverse group of well-trained professionals. Outreachactivities designed to increase diversity often focus on drawing more women and minorities tothese fields. Far fewer interventions have been developed with the purpose of drawing studentswith disabilities to these fields.The proposed work-in-progress will describe a summer intervention that was completed in akindergarten through seventh grade camp for dyslexic students. All participating students werediagnosed with dyslexia or dyslexic tendencies (borderline dyslexia). Forty-two studentsattended this five-week camp, with the primary purpose of improving their reading skills. Thecamp consisted of a four-hour morning segment in which the students received one-on-onereading instruction, one-on-one reading oral practice, writing instruction and a hands-on scienceor art unit. The science unit was designed to use active learning techniques, which are known tobe effective across various subpopulations. This paper will directly address the design,development and implementation of the one-week science unit.Researchers currently believe that dyslexia is the result of a difference in how a student’s braindevelops. Some researchers have argued that dyslexia provides dyslexic students with anintellectual advantage in science, engineering, and art. Dyslexia may also provide students withan advantage when reasoning in three-dimensional space, a critical and useful skill inmathematics, science and engineering. Based on this work, a collaboration has been developedbetween a school of engineering outreach program and a K-7 camp for the dyslexic. Theproposed paper will describe the intervention and the outcomes of this intervention. The currentmethods of assessment were based on student and instructor self-report. However, futureimplementations are planned to include quantitative measurement methods.

Wright, L. A., & Moskal, B. M. (2013, June), Increasing Diversity in Engineering: A K-6 Summer Outreach Program for Dyslexic Children Paper presented at 2013 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, Atlanta, Georgia. 10.18260/1-2--19750

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