New Orleans, Louisiana
June 26, 2016
June 26, 2016
August 28, 2016
Women in Engineering
Females are under-represented in the engineering profession and engineering education programs. Within the literature, suggested reasons for this under-representation are numerous and include fewer female faculty / role models, genetic disposition, gender discrimination, gendered workplaces and many more. The goal of this study is to use a mixed methods approach to determine if there are gendered differences in high school students’ perceptions of the engineering profession. If differences are discovered then how do these differences impact students’ career decision making process? Perceptions will be measured on: What is engineering?, What qualifications are needed to study engineering?, Do I meet those qualifications?, and What will it be like to work as an engineer? Perceptions will also be measured for specific disciplines in hopes of explaining large differences in female enrollment between chemical engineering (high female enrollment) and mechanical engineering (low female enrollment). Additional information will be collected to investigate the relationship of perceptions to previous exposure to engineers and engineering. Data will be collected during a series of in-class engineering promotion workshops given by the researchers. All high school student workshop attendees will be asked to complete a survey at the beginning of the workshop. The survey contains both multiple choice questions (to be automatically aggregated using scanning software) and open ended response questions (to be manually coded). The multiple choice answers will be numerically analyzed for trends, while a thematic analysis will be conducted on the written answers. If this study identifies that female high school students have distinctly different perceptions and priorities than their male counterparts, then conceivably some engineering outreach programs could be designed to better recruit the next generation of female engineers.
Bazylak, J., & Childs, R. A., & Bazylak, A. (2016, June), Methodology for Studying Gendered Differences among Secondary Students' Perceptions of Engineering Paper presented at 2016 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, New Orleans, Louisiana. 10.18260/p.25712
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