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Promoting Manufacturing Engineering Technology Programs At The High School And Middle School Levels Using Cad

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2002 Annual Conference


Montreal, Canada

Publication Date

June 16, 2002

Start Date

June 16, 2002

End Date

June 19, 2002



Conference Session

Instrumentation Poster Session

Page Count


Page Numbers

7.956.1 - 7.956.9



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Paper Authors

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Cliff Mirman

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Radha Balamuralikrishna

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Session #2559

Promoting Manufacturing Engineering Technology Programs at the High School and Middle School Levels Using CAD Radha Balamuralikrishna & Clifford R. Mirman Northern Illinois University DeKalb, IL 60115, USA Email:,

Overview In an earlier publication, the authors presented a set of ideas advocating the use of computer- aided design (CAD) to inspire middle and high school students consider a career in engineering technology through study at a higher educational institution1. The approach required the integration of CAD in selected school topics initially through teacher training, and subsequently extending new learning opportunities to students through their teachers. This paper complements the above-mentioned publication, describing new perspectives on the importance of advertising engineering technology programs at the middle and high school levels. The process of creation of a CAD-integrated lesson module that lends itself for high school instruction is discussed. Finally, the importance of a close collaboration between two and four year colleges in making it easier for community college students to pursue a Bachelor's degree program is considered using Northern Illinois University (NIU)'s Manufacturing Engineering Technology program as the model example.

Significance of a Proactive Relationship Occena et. al. projected that most school students map out their career paths by the time they enter their final year in high school2. The increased emphasis on formal education by employers coupled with the simultaneous drop in demand for unskilled labor in the United States continues to motivate high school graduates to pursue a college education, two -year or four year. It is true that things do not always proceed as planned and a large number of students switch career plans, and hence their majors during their college years. However, professional bodies such as the American Society for Engineering Education and the Society of Manufacturing Engineers have embarked on initiatives geared to aggressively promote engineering and technology in K -12 education 3, 4. The rationale behind such campaigns is to “catch them young” and induct the best available high school talent to pursue a career in engineering or tec hnology 3. ASEE President Jakubowski warned that "if the United States does not start closing the gap in student achievement in science and mathematics, the country runs the risk of becoming disadvantaged in the worldwide economy5, p.41" His profound faith in this proclamation was demonstrated by the recent introduction of an initiative called the ASEE Center for Best Practices in K-12 Science and Math Education.

K-12 education has attracted national attention for nearly twenty years, as it became evident that the United States school system was falling behind those of other industrialized nations 5.

Proceedings of the 2002 American Society for Engineering Education Annual Conference and Exposition Copyright Ó 2002, American Society for Engineering Education

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Mirman, C., & Balamuralikrishna, R. (2002, June), Promoting Manufacturing Engineering Technology Programs At The High School And Middle School Levels Using Cad Paper presented at 2002 Annual Conference, Montreal, Canada. 10.18260/1-2--10517

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