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Program Evaluation of a High School Summer Bridge Program in Chemistry and Engineering (Evaluation)

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2019 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition


Tampa, Florida

Publication Date

June 15, 2019

Start Date

June 15, 2019

End Date

October 19, 2019

Conference Session

Bridge Programs Connecting to First-Year Engineering

Tagged Divisions

First-Year Programs and Pre-College Engineering Education

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Paper Authors


Amanda Simson The Cooper Union Orcid 16x16

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Amanda Simson was appointed Assistant Professor of Chemical Engineering at The Cooper Union in August 2017. Her research focuses on using heterogeneous catalysis in applications like emissions control and alternative energy technologies. Amanda received her Ph.D. from Columbia University’s Department of Earth and Environmental Engineering. After her PhD she worked on developing hydrogen production technologies for Watt Fuel Cell in Port Washington, NY. Dr. Simson is dedicated to improving educational opportunities for students in STEM. Prior to her PhD studies she taught middle school for three years, two as part of the Teach for America program. She has developed several programs for students including a series of math competitions for NYC middle school students and a chemistry card game called Valence.

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Laura C. Broughton City University of New York, Bronx Community

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Laura Broughton is an Associate Professor of biological sciences at Bronx Community College of the City University of New York. She earned her Ph.D. in Zoology and Ecology, Evolutionary Biology and Behavior. Her interests include effective teaching in STEM fields, quantitative literacy, increasing diversity in STEM fields, microbial ecology, and environmental justice. She has run faculty development programs for new faculty members, online course development, and incorporating quantitative literacy into courses.

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Elizabeth J. Biddinger City College of the City University of New York Orcid 16x16

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Elizabeth J. Biddinger, PhD is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Chemical Engineering at The City College of New York. She received her B.S. from Ohio University (2005) and PhD from The Ohio State University (2010), both in chemical engineering. Prior to joining The City College of New York, Biddinger was a post-doctoral fellow at the Georgia Institute of Technology. Biddinger’s educational interests lie in chemical reaction engineering, incorporating laboratory experiences into traditional coursework, and bringing awareness of electrochemical engineering to chemical engineers. Biddinger’s research involves applications of green chemistry and energy utilizing electrocatalysis, batteries, and novel solvents.

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In this paper we evaluate a summer college preparatory program for __________ [city] high school students housed at __________ [institution]. The program was titled “Introduction to Energy Technology” and it focused on teaching chemistry and engineering skills in the context of traditional and alternative energy applications. The program has run for two summers, in 2017 and 2018, and has had 35 students participate. During the full day, six-week program, students attended chemistry and engineering lectures, excel sessions, math tutoring, and a daily afternoon laboratory. The calendar also included a college panel and an energy plant tour. In addition to the learning objectives of the course, a set of 30 specific skills were targeted and students self-evaluated their confidence in these skills at the beginning and end of the program. Students were also surveyed on their interest in STEM, their confidence in different subjects, and their career goals. Results of these surveys found that students’ confidence in chemistry, engineering and computer skills increased as a result of the course. The most significant increases were observed in engineering skills because initial confidence levels in this area were low. A majority of students reported increased interest in STEM fields and 100% of students (during the 2018 cohort) reported that increasing their confidence in science, math and engineering contributed to this intensified interest. This program evaluation reviews the program’s objectives, format, teaching tools, student feedback and plans for future programming and assessment.

Simson, A., & Broughton, L. C., & Biddinger, E. J. (2019, June), Program Evaluation of a High School Summer Bridge Program in Chemistry and Engineering (Evaluation) Paper presented at 2019 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition , Tampa, Florida. 10.18260/1-2--33198

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