Penn State University - Berks Campus - Reading, Pennsylvania
October 6, 2017
October 6, 2017
October 7, 2017
Diversity and Mid-Atlantic Section Fall Conference
Efforts to raise student interests in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) careers have increased in recent decades. The goal of such efforts is to satisfy the urgent need for scientists, engineers and technologists due to the consistent growth of innovative engineering products, such as smart phones, autonomous vehicles and so on. Educational researches show that the efforts to interest students in STEM majors and careers can be as early as in the elementary school level, the time when students begin to develop interests in engineering products around them. In this paper, we present one approach towards organizing an engineering workshop for elementary school students, particularly minority students, by educating them on how to build an engineering product: a speaker. After the workshop, the students not only learned the basic concepts of engineering and engineering product development, but also held and enjoyed a self-made product at home. The students’ responses indicate that while they had fun building the small device, they also understood the essential process to design and implement an engineering product. This could be of significance for them to gain an interest in engineering and eventually choose it as their future career.
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