June 14, 2015
June 14, 2015
June 17, 2015
Minorities in Engineering
26.1300.1 - 26.1300.11
Raising Interest in STEM Education: A partnership for minority improvement in STEM EducationDespite efforts of the past three decades, participation of underrepresented minority groups isstill an issue in STEM disciplines. Minority ethnic groups account for approximately 30% of theUnited States population, but only 9.1% of those working in STEM occupations[1, 2]. In thiscontext, a program between the [Institution removed] and [Institution removed] to provideresearch experience to underrepresented minority students (UMS) was implemented based on thehypothesis that learning about science and engineering is more effective if it is paired with thechallenge of independent research in a specifically collaborative “micro-environment”, as forexample in active research laboratories. Six undergraduate UMS (three male, three female) wereselected from a pool of twenty applicants in the inaugural year. Each student independentlyselected a faculty advisor and corresponding research group best aligned to their interests withinthe first two weeks of ten week program. From the outset, library integration underpinned theprogram. To this aim, students were personally introduced to key library professionals anddigital library search tools and databases were immediately employed to review at least threerelevant journal articles to their research foci, which assisted to form the basis for independentresearch proposals. By week four, students presented research plans before a panel of faculty andstudent judges. In order to complete the program, each student produced three final deliverables -an oral presentation, technical poster and paper describing their work. In addition, students wereexposed to STEM research in an application-driven industrial setting through a visit to a privatecorporation known for its innovation. A final survey and individualized assessments wereconducted to evaluate the effectiveness of the program and progress of the individual students,respectively. Students demonstrated familiarity with basic research methods and universallyreported increased interest in STEM education and careers, with four continuing to work in theirlabs beyond the program’s formal duration. Beyond the summer research program, thepartnership facilitated: (i) tutoring in community college STEM courses by [Institution removed]graduate students, (ii) a STEM career discussion panel, and (iii) a discussion among faculty andstaff from both institutions on addressing challenges UMS face in STEM education.Keywords—Research-based Learning, STEM education, Minority ParticipationReferences President's Council of Advisors on Science & Technology"Engage-to-Excel: Producing One Million Additional College Graduates with Degrees in Science,Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics," E. O. o. t. President, Ed., ed. Washington, D.C.: Executive Office of the President 2012. C. Vest, "The Image Problem for Engineering," The Bridge vol. 41, pp. 5-11, 2011.
Christe, D., & Shah, A., & Bhatt, J. J., & Mergenthal, M. R., & Powell, L., & Kontsos, A. (2015, June), Raising Interest in STEM Education: A Research-based Learning Framework for Improving Minority Participation Paper presented at 2015 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, Seattle, Washington. 10.18260/p.24637
ASEE holds the copyright on this document. It may be read by the public free of charge. Authors may archive their work on personal websites or in institutional repositories with the following citation: © 2015 American Society for Engineering Education. Other scholars may excerpt or quote from these materials with the same citation. When excerpting or quoting from Conference Proceedings, authors should, in addition to noting the ASEE copyright, list all the original authors and their institutions and name the host city of the conference. - Last updated April 1, 2015