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MESA Center Promoting Technical Literacy

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2020 ASEE Virtual Annual Conference Content Access


Virtual On line

Publication Date

June 22, 2020

Start Date

June 22, 2020

End Date

June 26, 2021

Conference Session

Exploration of Broad Issues and Promotion of Engineering and Technological Literacy

Tagged Division

Technological and Engineering Literacy/Philosophy of Engineering

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Dan G. Dimitriu San Antonio College

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Dan G. Dimitriu has been practicing engineering since 1970 and taught engineering courses concurrently for more than 20 years at various institutions. In 2001, he joined San Antonio College full-time as the Coordinator of its Engineering program. He has been involved with several engineering societies and became a member of the Two-year College Division of ASEE in 2002. His research interests are in engineering graphics, 3-D Visualization, fuel cells, plastics, and engineering education. He received the 2015 Presidential Award for Excellence in Science, Mathematics, and Engineering Mentoring.

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In 2007, the first MESA Center opened at our college. After twelve years, there is a story to be told. MESA, which stands for Mathematics, Engineering, and Science Achievement, is a national program that originated in California in 1970. Its purpose is to support educationally disadvantaged students throughout the education pipeline to excel in math and science so they can go on to attain degrees in the fields of engineering, science, and mathematics. Due to its STEM foundation, the MESA Center is also a focal point in the process of promoting technical literacy. In a society that becomes more and more dependent on technology, the center has made one of its fundamental goals to provide every student with the ability to understand the social, political, economic, and ethical implications of new technological developments. Since its inception, it has served as a catalyst for student study groups and a central location for promoting student scholarships, engineering design competitions, internships, summer undergraduate research opportunities, and a variety of activities promoting technical literacy on our campus. The Center has been host to tutoring sessions for difficult courses, student success seminars, resume writing and job search workshops, as well as meetings of several sciences and engineering-oriented student organizations on our campus. The Center has also served as a forum for presentations by faculty and student researchers, university recruiters, and practicing professionals from our area. All these activities promoted relentlessly technical literacy among the students at our college. This paper will present examples of activities, analyze the students’ participation, the challenges encountered, and the encouraging results of twelve years of the continuous presence of the MESA Program at our community college, as well as outline our future plans.

Dimitriu, D. G. (2020, June), MESA Center Promoting Technical Literacy Paper presented at 2020 ASEE Virtual Annual Conference Content Access, Virtual On line . 10.18260/1-2--34969

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