June 20, 2010
June 20, 2010
June 23, 2010
Minorities in Engineering
15.747.1 - 15.747.11
Inspiring Minorities to Enter the STEM Pipeline Through NSBE Jr.
The National Society of Black Engineers (NSBE) is the largest student managed organization in the United States. It was founded in 1975 and now serves over 10,000 collegiate members at
of culturally responsible black engineers who excel academically, succeed professionally, and positively impact the community. NSBE also has a large professional membership of approximately 3000 alumni members and a significant pre-college membership that ranges from grade seven to grade twelve. The goal of these NSBE Jr. chapters is to inspire young minds to pursue science, technology, engineering or math (STEM) as fields of study when entering college. With its Pre-College Initiative (PCI) program, NSBE aims to aid the entire engineering pipeline by preparing highly motivated and skilled high school students for the rigors of a university-level math, science, and engineering curriculum.
As part of an NSF GK-12 program, the Georgia Institute of Technology implemented NSBE Jr. chapters at two high schools in metro Atlanta, both with under-represented minority enrollments of over 95%. One is a Math and Science Magnet school, and the other is a Performing Arts Magnet school. Both NSBE Jr. chapters have now been in existence for at least five years, and have flourished with leadership by Georgia Tech graduate students. This paper will describe the activities implemented at these two different types of schools and will track the NSBE Jr. membership over time. This tracking includes reporting on which majors the NSBE Jr. students chose when entering college, and hence whether the two chapter have met goal of helping to inspire students to enter STEM fields.
Globalization has challenged the preeminence and competitiveness of the United States in science and technology according to the 2007 National Academies Report, Rising Above the Gathering Storm: Energizing America for a Brighter Economic Future.1 As noted by the Commission on the Advancement of Women and Minorities in Science, Engineering and Technology Development, investing in a diverse scientific workforce will lead to innovation and creativity that will sharpen the competitive edge of the United States. 2 The projected US population trends illustrate an increase in minority population from 30.6% in 2000 to 46.3% in 2040.3 In the state of Georgia, minorities already make up 54% of the total K-12 student enrollment.4 Therefore, in order for the United States in general, and Georgia specifically, to remain competitive and to utilize all of its intellectual capital, we will need to cultivate the untapped STEM talents of underrepresented minorities. Introducing underrepresented minorities to the STEM pipeline is the first step towards engaging them in the science, engineering, and technology enterprise. Despite several barriers preventing minorities from entering and remaining in STEM fields, there are many best practices to encourage and inspire minorities to contribute to STEM careers.
Cola, J., & Edwards, D., & Tarver, M., & Llewellyn, D., & Usselman, M. (2010, June), Inspiring Minorities To Enter The Stem Pipeline Through Nsbe Jr. Paper presented at 2010 Annual Conference & Exposition, Louisville, Kentucky. 10.18260/1-2--16524
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