June 12, 2005
June 12, 2005
June 15, 2005
10.841.1 - 10.841.6
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
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