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Maximizing Accessibility: Providing Summer Engineering Experiences for Racially, Ethnically, and Economically Underrepresented Youth

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Conference

2018 CoNECD - The Collaborative Network for Engineering and Computing Diversity Conference

Location

Crystal City, Virginia

Publication Date

April 29, 2018

Start Date

April 29, 2018

End Date

May 2, 2018

Conference Session

Socioeconomic Track - Technical Session II

Tagged Topics

Diversity and Socio-Economic Status

Page Count

12

Permanent URL

https://peer.asee.org/29552

Download Count

20

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Paper Authors

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Cherie D. Edwards Virginia Tech

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Dr. Cherie D. Edwards is a Postdoctoral Associate in Engineering Education at Virginia Tech. She earned her Ph.D. in Educational Research and Evaluation from Virginia Tech. Her research and scholarship are focused on exploring the implementation of mixed methods, qualitative, and arts-informed research designs in studies examining issues of social justice and educational equity. Currently, she is on a research team examining the impacts of an out-of-school STEM summer program for racially underrepresented youth.

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Walter C. Lee Virginia Tech Orcid 16x16 orcid.org/0000-0001-5082-1411

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Dr. Walter Lee is an assistant professor in the Department of Engineering Education and the assistant director for research in the Center for the Enhancement of Engineering Diversity (CEED), both at Virginia Tech.

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David B. Knight Virginia Tech Orcid 16x16 orcid.org/0000-0003-4576-2490

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David Knight is Assistant Professor and Assistant Department Head for Graduate Programs in the Department of Engineering Education at Virginia Tech. He is also Director of International Engagement in Engineering Education and affiliate faculty with the Higher Education Program at Virginia Tech. His research tends to be at the macro-scale, focused on a systems-level perspective of how engineering education can become more effective, efficient, and inclusive.

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Karl W. Reid National Society of Black Engineers

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Karl Reid is the newly appointed Executive Director of the National Society of Black Engineers (NSBE), a 30,000 plus
student-governed association in Alexandria, Virginia whose mission is to increase the number of culturally responsible
black engineers who excel academically, succeed professionally and positively impact the community.
Dr. Reid comes to NSBE from the United Negro College Fund where he served as senior vice president of research,
innovation and member college engagement. Prior to joining UNCF, Dr. Reid was Associate Dean of Undergraduate
Education and Director of the Office of Minority Education at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT).
Dr. Reid earned both his Bachelor’s and Master’s of Science degrees in Materials Science and Engineering from MIT, and
his Doctorate of Education from the Harvard Graduate School of Education. His research interests include exploring the
relationships between racial identity and self-efficacy, and their influence on the academic achievement of African
American males in higher education.

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Trina L. Fletcher University of Arkansas, Pine Bluff Orcid 16x16 orcid.org/https://0000-0002-1765-5957

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Dr. Fletcher is currently an Assistant Professor at the University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff (UAPB). Her research focus includes people of color and women in STEM and quality in K-12 and higher education. Prior to UAPB, Dr. Fletcher served as the Senior Manager for the Summer Engineering Experience of Kids (SEEK) program and the Director of Pre-college Programs for NSBE. Additionally, she spent time in industry holding technical and operations-based roles and has experience with outreach projects focused on STEM education and mentoring.

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Gregory Meeropol National Society of Black Engineers

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Greg Meeropol is the Senior Director of Programs for the National Society of Black Engineers (NSBE). In this role, he supervises NSBE’s pipeline of national programs serving 3rd grade through collegiate students as well as experienced professionals. A seasoned leader and former high school special education teacher, Meeropol reorganized and restructured NSBE’s Programs Division to reflect strategic priorities and make better use of resources. Through its programming, NSBE strives to increase the number of black engineers graduating from college each year and to make Engineering a mainstream word in homes and communities of color.

Prior to NSBE, Meeropol served as Assistant Superintendent for Postsecondary & Career Education for the District of Columbia. There he oversaw the $35M/year DC Tuition Assistance Grant (DC TAG) program and led the development of new initiatives like the College and Credential Completion Network (C3N), designed to share data, best practices and lessons learned across the DC middle and secondary school education landscape.

Meeropol has worked at Georgetown University as a Student Affairs Administrator and at the DC Housing Authority as a Public Information Officer. He holds an M.Ed. from Howard University, a BA from Georgetown University and lives in Washington D.C. with his wife Patrycja.

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Abstract

The drive for broader participation in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) has resulted in a growing interest in out-of-class programs that bring enriching educational experiences to children from ethnic and racial groups that are traditionally underrepresented, particularly children from low-income households. Ideally, such programs would have clear strategies for recruiting students from low-income communities, thereby minimizing barriers to participation, such as transportation and cost. Although many local organizations are clear in their purpose, strategies that maximize access have not been widely tested, and effective practices are not always evident. Notably, there are few national-scale outreach programs designed to provide out-of-class engineering experiences for children in low-income communities. In an effort to diverge from this trend, the National Society of Black Engineers (NSBE) has provided engineering experiences to over 20,000 children since 2007 through the Summer Engineering Experience for Kids (SEEK) program, which is hosted in cities across the nation. In providing this magnitude of outreach, SEEK has developed a model for effectively increasing access to high quality out-of-class engineering learning opportunities for youth in low-income communities. The aim of this paper is to 1) provide a detailed overview of the strategies used by NSBE that increase the likelihood of reaching students from low-income households via SEEK, and 2) examine the challenges in leading large-scale outreach efforts and lessons learned over time.

Edwards, C. D., & Lee, W. C., & Knight, D. B., & Reid, K. W., & Fletcher, T. L., & Meeropol, G. (2018, April), Maximizing Accessibility: Providing Summer Engineering Experiences for Racially, Ethnically, and Economically Underrepresented Youth Paper presented at 2018 CoNECD - The Collaborative Network for Engineering and Computing Diversity Conference, Crystal City, Virginia. https://peer.asee.org/29552

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