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Iowa State Engineering Kids

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2005 Annual Conference


Portland, Oregon

Publication Date

June 12, 2005

Start Date

June 12, 2005

End Date

June 15, 2005



Conference Session

Emerging Trends in Engineering Education Poster Session

Page Count


Page Numbers

10.841.1 - 10.841.6



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Paper Authors

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Jake Ingman

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Camille Schroeder

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

ISEK: Iowa State Engineering Kids Enticing Future Generations of Engineers

Camille Sloan-Schroeder, Jacob Ingman Iowa State University College of Engineering


Iowa State University College of Engineering is working to provide engineering opportunities for students in kindergarten through eighth grade that are fun, hands-on, and educational. These activities make up a program called Iowa State Engineering Kids, simply referred to as ISEK. ISEK is a program designed to address the ever-increasing demand for engineering and technologically literate students to enter the pipeline of higher education and ultimately, the workforce. Based on a study done by IEEE-USA, employment of engineers has risen by 12 percent, and the number of graduated engineers has declined by 17 percent over the same period1. Through these activities, we hope to simulate real world experiences that allow children to see beyond their own environments, to what the future holds for them, utilizing innovation and technology to find solutions for their future.

The middle grades are a critical time for students, especially for young girls and underrepresented minorities, to continue their interest and studies in science and math. In order for this group to maintain interest in these areas throughout high school and college, they must develop related skills, and retain positive feelings about them2. Data on science attitudes shows that girls in the middle grades had consistently less exposure to science opportunities than their male counterparts. The Department of Education relates that access to an equitable education can be an effective means for girls to escape the limitations of discrimination and reach their full potential3. With engineering being the most male dominated of all professions, and expectations of serious shortages of engineers projected over the next several decades, women and minorities must be recruited into engineering if we are to meet the demand for the future4.

It is important for young people to understand the wider possibilities of education and career choices. Through these activities, it is our goal to offer additional opportunities to increase engineering exposure for these students to enhance their science, math, and engineering interests and engage them in learner-driven activities that can entice them to consider a career in engineering. One such activity is FIRST LEGO League (FLL).

First LEGO League

FLL is a LEGO robotics competition for children ages 9-14 created by a partnership between the LEGO Company and non-profit organization FIRST (For Inspiration and Recognition of Technology). FIRST has a mission of providing a means for young people to pursue opportunities in engineering and technology. There are currently over 60,000 children involved in FLL across with the world in twenty countries. FLL challenges students to problem solve,

Proceedings of the 2005 American Society for Engineering Education Annual Conference & Exposition Copyright ©2005, American Society for Engineering Education

Ingman, J., & Schroeder, C. (2005, June), Iowa State Engineering Kids Paper presented at 2005 Annual Conference, Portland, Oregon. 10.18260/1-2--14579

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: © 2005 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