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Introducing Engineering To Teenagers Through A Summer Camps Program

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2004 Annual Conference


Salt Lake City, Utah

Publication Date

June 20, 2004

Start Date

June 20, 2004

End Date

June 23, 2004



Conference Session

Recruiting, Retention & Advising

Page Count


Page Numbers

9.806.1 - 9.806.11



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Paper Authors

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William Jordan

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Cheryl Sundberg

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NOTE: The first page of text has been automatically extracted and included below in lieu of an abstract

Session 2253

Introducing Engineering to Teenagers through a Summer Camps Program

William Jordan and Cheryl Sundberg College of Engineering and Science / College of Education Louisiana Tech University Ruston, LA 71272


The paper focuses on the impact of a residential summer camps program targeting students who will enter the 7th and 8th grade from economically disadvantaged parishes in Louisiana. Each camp was one-week long with approximately 50 students in each camp. The primary focus of the summer camps was to motivate the students to consider selecting a career in science and engineering.

We started their engineering time with an introduction to problem solving techniques. They worked in groups to solve several problems. We introduced fatigue by having them fatigue until failure two different sizes of paper clips in order to emphasize that when an experiment is repeated you do not obtain the same answer every time. Subsequently, they were introduced to some simple statistical ways to analyze the data.

Students were introduced to mechanical behavior of materials by performing Charpy Impact tests on steel and aluminum at room temperature as well as at the temperature of liquid nitrogen. Demonstrations of polymeric behavior at liquid nitrogen temperatures were also conducted. Students were introduced to the concept of viscoelasticity by making and playing with a “silly putty” type polymeric material.

Engineering design was introduced in two different ways. First, they were exposed to the concepts of rapid prototyping by observing the construction of small paperweights that were individualized with their names. Second, students were introduced to the concept of stability during the construction of towers with straws and masking tape that would hold a soccer ball.

The students were very enthusiastic about the project. We would like to continue offering the exploration program as well as expand it to a two-year program where students in their second year do more in-depth research in an area of their choice.

“Proceedings of the 2004 American Society for Engineering Education Annual Conference and Exposition Copyright © 2004, American Society for Engineering Education”

Jordan, W., & Sundberg, C. (2004, June), Introducing Engineering To Teenagers Through A Summer Camps Program Paper presented at 2004 Annual Conference, Salt Lake City, Utah. 10.18260/1-2--13274

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