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Lessons Learned in K-12 Engineering Outreach and Their Impact on Program Planning (Evaluation)

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Conference

2017 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition

Location

Columbus, Ohio

Publication Date

June 24, 2017

Start Date

June 24, 2017

End Date

June 28, 2017

Conference Session

Pre-College: Perceptions and Attitudes on the Pathway to Engineering (4)

Tagged Division

Pre-College Engineering Education Division

Tagged Topic

Diversity

Page Count

23

Permanent URL

https://peer.asee.org/28622

Download Count

217

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Paper Authors

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J. Chris Carroll Saint Louis University Orcid 16x16 orcid.org/0000-0001-9250-8503

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Dr. Carroll is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Civil Engineering at Saint Louis University. His experimental research interests focus on reinforced and prestressed concrete, while his engineering education research interests focus on experiential learning at both the university and K-12 levels. Dr. Carroll serves as a voting member on ACI Committee S802 - Teaching Methods and Educational Materials and is Chair of the Career Guidance Committee for the ASCE - St. Louis Section. He has eight years of formal experience with K-12 engineering education.

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Shannon M. Sipes Indiana University

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Shannon M. Sipes is an instructional consultant in the Center for Innovative Teaching and Learning at IU. In this role she provides professional development and individual consultation services for faculty with questions regarding their own teaching and student learning. Prior to her current role, she has served as the director of assessment helping faculty members with SOTL projects and classroom assessment. Shannon holds B.S. and M.A. degrees in psychology and a Ph.D. in curriculum and instruction with a focus on higher education.

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Jacob W. Benton Primoris Services Corporation

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Jacob Benton is currently a project engineer with Primoris Services Corporation. He provides on site support for construction operations in the highway and bridge construction sector. Jacob holds a B.S. degree in Civil Engineering and a M.S. degree in Engineering with a concentration in civil-structural engineering. As a graduate student at the University of Louisiana at Lafayette Mr. Benton served as the primary assistant for the Engineering Outreach section of the Lafayette Parish School System's GEAR UP Program.

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Traci Aucoin GEAR UP

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Traci Aucoin is currently the Lafayette Parish School System GEAR UP Project Director. She has worked in education for 30 years and has been a part of the GEAR UP initiative for seven years. She began her career as a high school biology and physics teacher before she moved into higher education where she served the University of Louisiana at Lafayette in numerous capacities for over 20 years. She served as Director of the Alumni Association, Director of Special Projects for the President, Director of University College, and Director of High School Relations. Through her work experience at UL, she has been able to develop and sustain strong community and post-secondary partnerships and bring valuable resources and expertise to the Lafayette Parish System GEAR UP initiative.

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Gloria E. de Zamacona Cervantes Saint Louis University

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Gloria is a Civil Engineering student working towards obtaining her master's degree in Structural Engineering. Her interest in engineering education stems from having attended a constructivist primary school, and her experience in K-12 education ranges from assisting her siblings with their schoolwork to working as a math and reading tutor for a private organization. She has been a member of the GEAR UP engineering outreach program since 2016.

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Adam O'Neill Saint Louis University

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Adam K. O'Neill will complete a BS in Mechanical Engineering at Saint Louis University this spring. As an undergraduate his research experience has been in fluid dynamics, specifically flow visualization and CFD, and engineering education, both through mentoring high school design groups and developing STEM based course work. He is also interested entrepreneurship and lean business development.

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Sana M. Syed Saint Louis University

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Sana Syed studied biomedical engineering and has proceeded to pursue her PhD in biomedical engineering and engineering education at Saint Louis University. She aspires to go on to work in industry where she will be able to mesh her passion in biomedical engineering and healthcare as well as in education reform in engineering.

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Abstract

The United States relies on a well-prepared workforce to remain competitive in science and engineering. However, the number of engineering graduates is insufficient to cover the growing demand. As a result, an abundance of outreach programs exist throughout the country with a specific goal to increase the interest in engineering and the number of students pursuing engineering degrees. Unfortunately, the ideal format for effective outreach programs does not yet exist and formal evaluation is needed. This paper will highlight two formal engineering outreach programs that were part of two large education grants primarily focused on increasing college readiness of a cohort of children from underrepresented minorities and low socio-economic backgrounds. The first program ran from 2009 to 2015 and the second program began in 2015 and will run through 2021. Both programs progress with the children as they progress in school until they graduate high school.

The first program initially began with a two-week summer engineering camp that slowly evolved into a yearlong program including on-site presentations, an after school program, and summer camp. The engineering camps increased in scale and level of intensity each year as the students increased in age. The activities began with simple activities such as balsa wood bridges and evolved to large-scale projects that required days of construction. Likewise, the afterschool program began with simple activities such as foam core board chairs and concluded with a trebuchet competition modeled after the Science Channel’s show “Punkin Chunkin.” At the conclusion of the first program, the participating teachers were asked to participate in a focus group to gain insight into their perceptions of the program and its sustainability potential. Additionally, student participants were also asked to complete surveys regarding their participation in the program. Evaluation of the data resulted in several best practices and lessons learned that were used to plan the second program. The second program is more teacher-focused and takes a very different approach. It provides math teachers with engineering related content that aligns with the existing curriculum and state standards to potentially improve the math readiness of middle school students. The program builds upon the best practices and lessons-learned from the first program along with existing literature.

This paper will provide a summary of the activities from the first program along with the specific best practices and lessons learned. The best practices and lessons learned will be supported by the data from the teacher focus group along with data from student respondents and a qualitative summary from the Principal Investigator. Additionally, the paper will also provide a description of the second program including program development and plans for formal assessment.

Carroll, J. C., & Sipes, S. M., & Benton, J. W., & Aucoin, T., & de Zamacona Cervantes, G. E., & O'Neill, A., & Syed, S. M. (2017, June), Lessons Learned in K-12 Engineering Outreach and Their Impact on Program Planning (Evaluation) Paper presented at 2017 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, Columbus, Ohio. https://peer.asee.org/28622

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: © 2017 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