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Purdue Mission to Mars 2.0: A Learn-by-Doing Approach to Recruiting

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2020 ASEE Virtual Annual Conference Content Access


Virtual On line

Publication Date

June 22, 2020

Start Date

June 22, 2020

End Date

June 26, 2021

Conference Session

STEM Issues in ET II

Tagged Division

Engineering Technology

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Paper Authors


Rustin Webster Purdue University, New Albany

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Dr. Rustin Webster is an assistant professor in the Purdue Polytechnic Institute at Purdue University and specializes in mechanical engineering and computer graphics technology. Dr. Webster’s industry experience includes time as a contractor for the Department of Defense as an engineer, project manager, and researcher. He holds a B.S. in Engineering Graphics and Design and a M.S. in Management of Technology from Murray State University, and a Ph.D. in Interdisciplinary Engineering from the University of Alabama at Birmingham. Dr. Webster has received various professional certifications from the American Society of Mechanical Engineers, SOLIDWORKS, and the Project Management Institute. His research interests include engineering technology outreach and design education with focus areas in CAD and project-based learning.

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Matthew Turner Purdue University, New Albany

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Dr. Matthew Turner is an Associate Professor of ECET at Purdue University New Albany where he teaches courses in power systems and engineering capstone design. Prior to joining the faculty at Purdue, Professor Turner worked as a researcher at the Conn Center for Renewable Energy Research in the area of power and energy systems, with a focus on smart grid implementation and computer modeling. Dr. Turner's current research concentrates on demand response technologies and the application of novel teaching and learning methods to power engineering education.

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In the summer of 2018, a prior award winning and effective learn-by-doing recruiting event for Purdue Polytechnic New Albany (PPNA) was revamped since its inception in 2015 and delivered to 28 secondary education students. The authors’ internal, emotional drive to improve the recruiting event and host such a complex, dynamic, and hands-on engineering design and robotics experience again, was in hopes that students would be inspired to choose technology-related majors and apply to PPNA. The purpose of this descriptive nonexperimental study is to investigate the actual impact Purdue Mission to Mars (PMTM) 2.0 had on the students’ self-reported interest in and understanding of Purdue Polytechnic and the ET majors offered at PPNA. Pre- and post-survey analysis showed that as a group, PMTM 2.0 increased students’ general understanding of the college and the majors offered. Students’ general interest in the college also increased; however, students’ interest with specific majors remained unchanged. This paper also shares the details needed for others in the ET community to recreate PMTM 2.0.

Webster, R., & Turner, M. (2020, June), Purdue Mission to Mars 2.0: A Learn-by-Doing Approach to Recruiting Paper presented at 2020 ASEE Virtual Annual Conference Content Access, Virtual On line . 10.18260/1-2--35111

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