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Introducing Pre College Students And Teachers To Engineering Via A Summer Enrichment Program

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2001 Annual Conference


Albuquerque, New Mexico

Publication Date

June 24, 2001

Start Date

June 24, 2001

End Date

June 27, 2001



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Page Numbers

6.656.1 - 6.656.8

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Stephen Horan

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Session 2793

Introducing Pre-college Students and Teachers to Engineering Via a Summer Enrichment Program

Stephen Horan New Mexico State University


A week-long pre-college program for teachers and students has been developed to give the participants an introduction to engineering via hands-on activities. The program brings the students and teachers to campus where the construct two kits: a high-powered model rocket kit and a instrumentation package that is flown in the rocket. The program emphasizes problem- solving and critical thinking skills. Upon completion of the rocket flight, the data are analyzed using standard spreadsheets. The participants give oral presentations to describe the data collected, the interpretation of the data, and a description of their overall experience. The activities in the program have been tracked with the New Mexico secondary school curriculum standards to enable teachers to see how the material can be related to the various content areas. In this paper, the details of the program will be given along with sample reactions of the student- teacher teams participating in the program.

I. Introduction

Engineering faculty are always worried about filling the pipeline of new students coming into programs. Federal agencies such as the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) have developed extensive program support to assist in making outreach to pre-college customers part of the overall mission1. Through one of these programs, the New Mexico Space Grant Consortium, we have developed a one-week program that introduces high-school level teachers and students to engineering. The program has been running for over five years and services approximately 50 teachers and students every summer. Follow-up is also provided for the participating programs.

In this paper, we will describe the program and the kinds of technical and personal results obtained. We will also describe how this program has begun to feed back into the undergraduate curriculum at New Mexico State University.

II. Program Operations

The summer program recruits high-school level teachers and students from the state of New Mexico and west Texas to participate in a one-week, on-campus program. The program is funded through grants from NASA and corporate donations. Technology development support funding is also provided from within the Manuel Lujan Space Tele-Engineering program and the

“Proceedings of the 2001 American Society for Engineering Education Annual Conference & Exposition Copyright © 2001, American Society for Engineering Education”

Horan, S. (2001, June), Introducing Pre College Students And Teachers To Engineering Via A Summer Enrichment Program Paper presented at 2001 Annual Conference, Albuquerque, New Mexico.

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