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Novel Approach to Developing and Implementing Curriculum in a 2-Week High School Summer Engineering Experience (Work in Progress)

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2015 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition


Seattle, Washington

Publication Date

June 14, 2015

Start Date

June 14, 2015

End Date

June 17, 2015





Conference Session

K-12 & Pre- College Engineering Division Poster Session

Tagged Division

K-12 & Pre-College Engineering

Page Count


Page Numbers

26.1192.1 - 26.1192.8



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Paper Authors


Lauren Redfern Duke University

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Lauren Redfern is a second-year doctoral student in Civil and Environmental Engineering at Duke University. She has a B.S in Biological Engineering from the University of Florida and a passion for K-12 Engineering.

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A. Leyf Peirce Starling North Carolina State University

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Leyf Peirce Starling received a Bachelor of Science in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Virginia in 2003 and a Master of Arts in teaching with a focus on Special Education from UNC-Charlotte in 2010. She has teaching experience in both formal and informal educational settings. She has taught 6th, 7th and 8th grade math, science, social studies and reading comprehension and high school physics and aerospace engineering in North Carolina public and private schools. During the summers of 2013 and 2014, She served as the Academic Director for the Middle School Summer Math Camp and Middle School and High School Biosciences and Engineering Camps at Duke University. She has extensive experience in curriculum development as an editor for and a lead developer for four Race to the Top courses on aerospace, automation and security. She has also served as a consultant for Michigan State's Research Experiences for Teachers program for the last three years. Currently, she is the Program Coordinator at the Engineering Place at North Carolina State University, where she also teaches an Introduction to Engineering course to incoming freshmen.

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Claudia K Gunsch Duke University

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Novel Approach to Developing and Implementing Curriculum in a 2-Week High School Summer Engineering Experience (Work in Progress)Addressing a shortage of graduates in the science, technology, engineering, andmathematics (STEM) fields has become a national priority in the United States.Incorporating age-appropriate engineering activities in K-12 education settings couldimprove the engineering recruitment and retention rate. Informal learning settings, suchas summer experiences, provide a unique environment in which to promote this strategy.________University’s Bioscience and Engineering camps have employed a novel modelduring four 2-week sessions over the summers of 2013 and 2014. Each session includedbetween 26 and 40 participants of both over-night and day campers. The structure andcontent of this summer experience is designed for students to meet the following goals: 1)define and apply the engineering design process; 2) explore various fields of biosciencesand engineering through novel, applicable, and engaging activities that are linked directlyto current research at ___ University; 3) discover current research at _____ University byvisiting research labs and engaging in real time data collection and analysis; 4) define andanalyze engineering ethics; 5) improve technical communication skills; 6) identifymultiple college and career opportunities in engineering; and 7) apply acquired contentknowledge in math and science to define, analyze, and solve a problem that will helpsociety in a capstone project. Additionally, this experience is designed to providestudents with mentorship and exposure to novel engineering curriculum developed anddelivered by current undergraduate and graduate students. This model focuses on acoordinated effort between ________ University researchers and students to promote the“engineering habits of mind” and provide students with opportunities to practiceengineering problem solving in a college engineering laboratory.This paper explores best practices in effectively designing and implementing positiveexperiences. The goal is to emphasize the engineering habits of mind and engage highschool students in current engineering practices and research in a higher educationenvironment. Additionally, we discusses facilitating interactions with current engineeringundergraduate and graduate students to provide instruction and guidance through thetransition from high school to college. We hope the presented model may be sustainedand replicated in other institutions and settings. Preliminary survey data suggest that thissummer experience meets the goals of the model and needs of the students. Thoughinitial efforts have been successful, it is still a work in progress, and we hope the futuredownstream effects will be improved recruitment and retention of students inengineering.  

Redfern, L., & Starling, A. L. P., & Gunsch, C. K. (2015, June), Novel Approach to Developing and Implementing Curriculum in a 2-Week High School Summer Engineering Experience (Work in Progress) Paper presented at 2015 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, Seattle, Washington. 10.18260/p.24529

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