June 15, 2014
June 15, 2014
June 18, 2014
24.992.1 - 24.992.8
Precollege Engineering Participation Among First-Year Engineering StudentsIn recent years, engineering content is increasingly appearing in the K-12 classroom. Thisgrowth can be attributed to increased acceptance of engineering as an area of study at the K-12level, the growing inclusion of engineering content in state and national educational standards,and the growth of outreach activities intended to increase students’ interest in pursuing degreesand careers in engineering. As precollege engineering programs grow, first-year engineeringstudents are arriving in university engineering programs with significant prior exposure toengineering content and practices. Despite this growth, little research exists that explores theprevalence of participation in these programs or the effects of participation on first-yearengineering students.In this paper, we present the results of a survey of first-year engineering students on theirparticipation in precollege engineering programs and activities. Students enrolled in four sectionsof a first-year engineering program at a large public university were asked to complete a surveyindicating the settings where they encountered engineering prior to college, named and describedthe various activities that they participated in and the approximate amount of time they spentdoing each activity. Participants also provided demographic information.Results indicate that 89 percent of domestic students enrolling in first-year engineering classes atthe university have experiences they describe as engineering prior to college. High school classesare the most common way that students are exposed to engineering content by a significantmargin, followed by extra-curricular activities, summer camps or programs, and middle schoolclasses. While the majority of respondents reported participating in one or two differentactivities, some reported participating in as many as nine different precollege engineeringprograms or activities. These activities ranged in exposure from short term class projects oractivities, to students involved for multiple years in an engineering course sequence orextracurricular activity.In the full paper, we will explore the relationships between precollege engineering participationand students’ demographics such as race and gender. We will also explore the relationshipbetween participation in various types of precollege engineering activities and students’ choiceof engineering major.
Salzman, N., & Ricco, G. D., & Ohland, M. W. (2014, June), Pre-College Engineering Participation Among First-Year Engineering Students Paper presented at 2014 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, Indianapolis, Indiana. https://peer.asee.org/22925
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