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Modification and Assessment of a Residential Summer Program for High School Women (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 (3)

Tagged Division

Pre-College Engineering Education Division

Tagged Topic

Diversity

Page Count

20

DOI

10.18260/1-2--28680

Permanent URL

https://peer.asee.org/28680

Download Count

147

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Paper Authors

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Aimee Cloutier Texas Tech University

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Aimee Cloutier is a Ph.D. student studying Mechanical Engineering at Texas Tech University. She earned her B.S. in Mechanical Engineering from Texas Tech in 2012. Her research interests include biomechanics, rehabilitation engineering, prosthetic limb design, and STEM education.

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Guo Zheng Yew Texas Tech University

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Guo Zheng Yew is currently pursuing his doctorate in civil engineering at Texas Tech University with a focus on finite element analysis and glass mechanics. Prior to his graduate work in the United States, he obtained his Bachelor's degree from Malaysia and has participated in research projects involving offshore structures in Malaysia. As a graduate part-time instructor at Texas Tech University, he teaches an introductory course in engineering to freshmen undergraduate students. He has taught at Texas Tech University since the fall of 2013.

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Siddhartha Gupta Texas Tech University Orcid 16x16 orcid.org/0000-0001-5710-700X

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Siddhartha Gupta is a third-year PhD student in the department of Chemical Engineering at Texas Tech. He received a bachelor’s degree in chemical engineering from the Indian Institute of Technology and subsequently worked as shift engineer for two years with a Fortune 500 chemical company before joining the PhD program at Texas Tech. His current research interests include microfluidics, machine learning, holography and biomedical instrumentation.

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C. Kalpani Dissanayake

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Kalpani Dissanayake is a Ph.D. candidate majoring in Systems and Engineering Management at the Texas Tech University. She earned her Bachelor in Engineering (2004)and Masters (2009) degrees from the University of Peradeniya, Sri Lanka. Her major research interests are in performance measurement, lean manufacturing, and operations management.

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Paula Ann Monaco Texas Tech University Orcid 16x16 orcid.org/0000-0002-5572-1468

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Dr. Paula Monaco, E.I.T., successfully defended her dissertation research Spring 2016 and began a career as a wastewater consultant with Alan Plummer Associates. Paula has led multiple outreach summer programs at Texas Tech University and provides support to student organizations within the college of engineering.

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Susan A. Mengel Texas Tech University

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Susan Mengel, Texas Tech University

Dr. Susan Mengel is an associate professor in the Computer Science Department of the Edward E. Whitacre Jr. College of Engineering at Texas Tech University. Her research interests include computer science education, computer security, and information retrieval.

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Audra N. Morse P.E. Michigan Technological University

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Dr. Audra Morse, P.E., is a Professor and Department Chair in the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering at Michigan Technological University. Her professional experience is focused on water and wastewater treatment, specifically water reclamation systems, membrane filtration and the fate of personal products in treatment systems. However, she has a passion to tackle diversity and inclusion issues for students and faculty in institutions of higher education.

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Abstract

Modification and Assessment of a Residential Summer Program for High School Women (Evaluation)

The importance of reducing the gender gap in engineering programs by recruiting and retaining female students is well recognized. Although women hold roughly half of all jobs in the United States, only 24% of STEM jobs are occupied by women. The problem is even more pronounced for engineering, where women held about 12% of jobs as of 2013 [1]. Interactive, hands-on outreach programs are a common tool used by universities to encourage interest in engineering from K-12 students. [Program name] is a week-long, residential summer program offered by [university] for female high school students. The primary goal of the program is to help participants make informed decisions about engineering majors and careers. To this aim, the purposes of the program are: 1) to offer a platform for high school females to learn about the various disciplines of engineering offered at [university] and other universities; 2) to provide a realistic university experience, including coursework, social, and professional development opportunities; and 3) to provide hands-on exposure to a real-world engineering problem. [Program name] ran for the second time in the summer of 2016 based on the favorable support it received in 2015. Primary components of this year’s program were a multidisciplinary group project focused on the theme of CO2 capture and storage as well as a series of two-hour classes taught by university faculty and graduate students in the following six engineering disciplines: chemical engineering, civil engineering, environmental engineering, industrial engineering, mechanical engineering, and computer science. This paper presents the multidisciplinary structure of the program and how it connects to the project that was assigned to program participants. The curriculum structure, the in-class activities and the method of delivery for each discipline are explained in depth. The assessment of the program’s second year, including comparisons to the results from the first year and modifications to the program based on feedback from previous program participants are discussed. The assessment instruments include engineering skills assessment questionnaires requiring students to self-evaluate their competence in eighteen skillsets before the program and after the program. These skillsets are qualities often identified to be important for engineers and encompass traits associated with problem solving, project management, teamwork, and communication skills. Key results show improved self-assessment for most of the engineering skills after the program. Additionally, the skills which did not show improved self-assessment ratings after the program were consistent throughout both years. Qualitative results show a more matured and complete understanding – after the program – of engineering and the individual engineering disciplines. Through oral presentations, participants demonstrated in-depth engagement with the environmental conservation theme of the project. The environmental conservation theme is consistent with the participants’ aspirations for considering an engineering career and championing sustainability, which was highlighted by program participants in 2015 as a desired additional focus of the program. Overall, the program provided an opportunity for participants to experience the multidisciplinary nature of engineering, aided participants’ understanding of the roles of the individual engineering disciplines, and furnished a realistic preview to student life in university.

[1] Corbett, C. and Hill, C. (2015). Solving the equation: the variables for women’s success in engineering and computing. Washington, DC: American Association of University Women.

Cloutier, A., & Yew, G. Z., & Gupta, S., & Dissanayake, C. K., & Monaco, P. A., & Mengel, S. A., & Morse, A. N. (2017, June), Modification and Assessment of a Residential Summer Program for High School Women (Evaluation) Paper presented at 2017 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, Columbus, Ohio. 10.18260/1-2--28680

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