Asee peer logo

Macro Analog To Mems: A Program For Science And Engineering Outreach To K 12 Students

Download Paper |


2003 Annual Conference


Nashville, Tennessee

Publication Date

June 22, 2003

Start Date

June 22, 2003

End Date

June 25, 2003



Conference Session

Electrical and Computer Engineering

Page Count


Page Numbers

8.831.1 - 8.831.13



Permanent URL

Download Count


Request a correction

Paper Authors

author page

Hy Tran

author page

Catherine Clewett

Download Paper |

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


Macro Analog to MEMS: A program for Science and Engineering Outreach to K-12 Students

Catherine F. M. Clewett1, Hy D. Tran2 1 Albuquerque Country Day School (currently at New Mexico Tech), 2 Department of Mechanical Engineering, University of New Mexico,

Abstract Micro-Electro-Mechanical-Systems (MEMS) are used as a vehicle to teach engineering and physical sciences concepts to high school students and to encourage more students to pursue careers in science and engineering. Drawing on a University research program in MEMS as a resource, the program guides students through the design process from solid modeling through manufacturing, and illustrates the applications of mathematics and physical sciences in engineering. A macro-scale (mm scale, rather than micrometer scale) analog to silicon micromachining that could inexpensively produce hand-held size planar layered structures will be used to illustrate the kinematics and geometry of MEMS devices. This analog will simulate the manufacturing process for MEMS without the need of a clean room or its highly volatile chemicals; it will use soap and wax, materials found in local hobby stores to produce macro scale models. The students will learn to use the program SolidWorks to create solid models of simple machines. They will translate their designs into kinematic models using a fused deposition of material rapid prototyping machine (Stratasys FDM1650) at the University, and also build soap and wax models that emulate lithography and micromachining at the K-12 school.

The project also includes an assessment portion to assess its effect on the students. At the beginning and end of the program, the students will fill out a questionnaire based on the Test of Science Related Attitudes (TOSRA). The test is designed to assess changes in student’s attitude toward scientific inquiry. An additional method of assessment, the review of students' comments in their personal portfolios, should indicate any overall change in attitudes about science and engineering. This program has the potential to be used as a model for schools to encourage students to pursue scientific or engineering careers.

A preliminary version of this program has been used at a private middle school (8th and 9th grade), and is being evaluated at a 9th-12th grade public high school.

Proceedings of the 2003 American Society for Engineering Education Annual Conference & Exposition Copyright © 2003, American Society for Engineering Education

Tran, H., & Clewett, C. (2003, June), Macro Analog To Mems: A Program For Science And Engineering Outreach To K 12 Students Paper presented at 2003 Annual Conference, Nashville, Tennessee. 10.18260/1-2--11661

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: © 2003 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