San Antonio, Texas
June 10, 2012
June 10, 2012
June 13, 2012
25.1017.1 - 25.1017.17
Outreach Activities for Middle School Students Involving Mechanical Engineering Undergraduate StudentsAbstractThe ASME Student Chapter, the SWE Student Chapter, the Mechanical Engineering faculty andstaff have hosted a “Mechanical Engineering Day” at Gannon University, Erie, PA every springsince 2008. In average, 90 middle school students have participated every year. The ASME’sCenter for Leadership & Diversity awarded a Diversity Action Grant (DAG) to the ASMEstudent chapter to partially fund this event. This paper presents the “Mechanical EngineeringDay” event where the participating middle school students were introduced to differentengineering disciplines, and were guided and supervised by college students as they performedthree activities associated with different aspects of mechanical engineering. Every year, seniors,juniors and sophomores were in charge of proposing and selecting the projects/activities for theevent as well as preparing all the necessary guidelines and instructions. The proposals foractivities were part of a course grade and students had to showcase an area of MechanicalEngineering. The selected activities have included the design and construction of an egg-dropmodule, heat transfer experiments demonstrations, design and construction of a beam, design andconstruction of a watercraft, and design and construction of a zip line, amongst others. Throughactive participation in the event, the mechanical engineering undergraduate students at GannonUniversity have learned the importance of involvement in community outreach programs andteam work, have had the opportunity to improve their leadership and communication skills, andhave invoked the young minds of the middle school students to give a thought to how they canimpact and change their lives and the society in a positive way.The objectives of the “Mechanical Engineering Day” were to establish an effective program toincrease middle school student’s exposure to engineering, to inspire middle school students toconsider mechanical engineering/engineering as a future career, and to provide the undergraduatestudents opportunities for leadership and professional development. Middle school studentslearned about engineering and mechanical engineering careers, how engineers impact every daylife, and according to the survey, that engineering is fun. The event will be discussed from aproject-based perspective in a classroom setting. The paper will describe the involvement of theundergraduate students in the organization and execution of the event, the activities proposed andselected, and the advantages of students’ active participation. Finally, the lessons learned andchallenges experienced will be discussed.
Vernaza, K. M., & Aggarwal, M. C. (2012, June), Outreach Activities for Middle School Students: Project for Mechanical Engineering Undergraduate Students Paper presented at 2012 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, San Antonio, Texas. 10.18260/1-2--21774
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