June 22, 2003
June 22, 2003
June 25, 2003
8.708.1 - 8.708.4
Innovations in Pre-College Outreach: Scouts Explorer Posts
Kelvin K. Kirby Electrical Engineering Department Prairie View A&M University Prairie View, Texas 77446-0397
Public information indicates that fewer American youth are selecting science and engineering as desired careers. General discussions with underrepresented populations revealed that most students view mathematics and science as very difficult subjects that require a lot of time and hard work to achieve above passing grades. As underrepresented populations become the majority in Texas and other midwestern states, innovative approaches must be developed to excite and encourage high school students to consider science and mathematics as primary building blocks for the future. The Prairie View A&M University (PVAMU) NASA Center for Applied Radiation Research (CARR) adopted the concept of teaming with The Boy Scouts of America to establish joint Explorer Posts with local high schools as a primary component of outreach. The university and high school Math, Science or Environmental Clubs conduct various activities to excite and encourage middle and high school students to do their best in science and mathematics. The Boy Scouts of America insures each member, thus the university does not incur added liabilities. At the university level, the students get a greater vision of how our country, globe and universe are connected though various forms of science (environment) and mathematics (money). Selected activities and benefits are the primary topics of discussion.
PVAMU is a Historically Black College or University (HBCU) located in a rural community approximately 50 miles northwest of Houston, Texas. As a HBCU, its mission is to serve underrepresented populations, which are often economically disadvantaged also. Recent data published by the PVAMU Office of Institutional Effectiveness, Research and Analysis documented that the undergraduate student population receiving some form of financial aid was between 85 percent and 95 percent, during the fall semesters of 1998, 1999 and 2000.1 The overall undergraduate population was 5,020, 5,147 and 5,382 for 1998, 1999 and 2000, respectively.2 The African American population is approximately 88 percent and the White/Non- Hispanic is approximately 7 percent. The Hispanic population is, on the average, 2 percent annually. On the national level, African Americans and Hispanics combine for approximately 25 percent of the undergraduate degrees awarded in science and engineering.3 Additional information published by the National Science Foundation indicates that HBCUs produce 30 percent of engineering degrees (for undergraduate Black students), 44 percent of their natural science degrees, and 25 percent of their social science degrees. These degrees have remained relatively stable for the past 20 years.4 The goal is to increase the number of American citizens who pursue degrees in science, mathematics, engineering and technology (SMET) disciplines.
“Proceedings of the 2003 American Society for Engineering Education Annual Conference & Exposition Copyright © 2003, American Society for Engineering Education”
Fogarty, T. N., & Kirby, K. (2003, June), Innovations In Pre College Outreach: Scouts Explorer Posts Paper presented at 2003 Annual Conference, Nashville, Tennessee. https://peer.asee.org/12188
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