Asee peer logo

Introduce Engineering to 6th Graders via “Speed Dating”

Download Paper |


2011 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition


Vancouver, BC

Publication Date

June 26, 2011

Start Date

June 26, 2011

End Date

June 29, 2011



Conference Session

K-12 and Pre-College Engineering Poster Session

Tagged Division

K-12 & Pre-College Engineering

Page Count


Page Numbers

22.954.1 - 22.954.13



Permanent URL

Download Count


Request a correction

Paper Authors


Melanie R. Ford Pennsylvania State University, Erie

visit author page

Melanie Ford is a Lecturer in the School of Engineering at Penn State Erie, The Behrend College. She previously taught computer training for military and civilian employees as well as worked for a software company. She received her B.A. in Computer Science and Mathematics at the State University of New York at Potsdam. She currently teaches computer programming for engineering majors and is Head of the Engineering Outreach Center. Her research and outreach interests are in the K-12 outreach education areas. Ford won the 2010 Penn State Women in the Sciences and Engineering (WISE) Institute Faculty Recognition Award and the 2008-09 School of Engineering Excellence in Outreach award.

visit author page


Vibhuti Dave Pennsylvania State University, Erie

visit author page

Dr. Vibhuti Dave joined Penn State Erie, The Behrend College as an Assistant Professor in the Electrical, Computer, and Software Engineering program in Fall 2007. She received her undergraduate engineering degree in the field of Electronics and Communication from Nirma Institute of Technology, India in 2000. She received her M.S. in Electrical Engineering and Ph.D. (2007) in Computer Engineering from the Illinois Institute of Technology, Chicago, IL.

Dr. Dave’s research interests lie in the field of High Speed Computer Arithmetic and Computer Architecture. Her research has been focused on the design high-speed multi-operand adders. In addition, she is also interested in performing research in VLSI implementation of signal processing algorithms, and low power integrated circuit design.

Her teaching interests include Digital Logic Design, Computer Architecture, Computer Arithmetic, VLSI Design.

visit author page


Kathryn Holliday-Darr Penn State Erie, The Behrend College

visit author page

Kathryn Holliday-Darr is a Senior Lecturer in Engineering Graphics in the School of Engineering at Penn State Erie, the Behrend College since 1985. She also taught Industrial Arts at the high school level for seven years. She received her BA in Industrial Arts at the University of Northern Colorado, and her MS in Industrial Arts Education at the State University of New York at Buffalo. Her research and teaching interests include engineering graphics, visualization, K-12 outreach and working with freshmen enrolled in engineering technology programs. She is the author of Applied Descriptive Geometry and was the 2000 Oppenheimer Award Winner. Holliday-Darr also was awarded the Council of Fellows Outreach Award in 2010.

visit author page

Download Paper |


ASEE 2011 Annual Conference & Exposition Abstract Introduce Engineering to 6th graders via “Speed Dating”The School of Engineering at XXX University offers several outreach programs to the P-12community impacting more than a 1000 students over the past year. The goal of this paper is todescribe the presentation and implementation of a unique outreach program specially designedfor sixth grade students. The program incorporated hands-on activities from all the engineeringmajors offered at this school into a fun interactive day within a limited amount of time. Thispaper will provide the details of each workshop as well as results from the assessment surveysgiven to the students and the teachers at the end of the program.Workshops were designed to be hands-on and focus on either computer, software, electrical,mechanical or plastics engineering. Topics covered included binary math, electrical circuits, boatdesign, the properties of plastic materials and bridge designs. The event was sponsored by a localcompany through an Educational Improvement Tax Credit program. They presented a workshopon the properties and uses of magnets which is the specialty of this particular company. Onehundred and thirty-eight sixth grade students from three different elementary schools participatedin this program.The challenge was to design a program for a large number of attendees and still showcase theengineering majors mentioned above to every single participant within a time duration of 3hours. A distinctive feature of this event was how the workshops lasted for a short duration andstill managed to be fun and interactive. Students were divided into groups of 11-12 and wererotated through the activities every 15 minutes.This paper will detail the program and each of the activities. The paper will be concluded withresults from surveys taken from participants as well as teachers at the end of the event.

Ford, M. R., & Dave, V., & Holliday-Darr, K. (2011, June), Introduce Engineering to 6th Graders via “Speed Dating” Paper presented at 2011 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, Vancouver, BC. 10.18260/1-2--18159

ASEE holds the copyright on this document. It may be read by the public free of charge. Authors may archive their work on personal websites or in institutional repositories with the following citation: © 2011 American Society for Engineering Education. Other scholars may excerpt or quote from these materials with the same citation. When excerpting or quoting from Conference Proceedings, authors should, in addition to noting the ASEE copyright, list all the original authors and their institutions and name the host city of the conference. - Last updated April 1, 2015