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Recruitment And Advising Of High School Students From Non Traditional Groups

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1998 Annual Conference


Seattle, Washington

Publication Date

June 28, 1998

Start Date

June 28, 1998

End Date

July 1, 1998



Page Count


Page Numbers

3.481.1 - 3.481.6

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Paper Authors

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Willie E. (Skip) Rochefort

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Michelle Bothwell

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NOTE: The first page of text has been automatically extracted and included below in lieu of an abstract

Session 3213

Recruitment and Advising of High School Students from “non-traditional” Groups

Willie E. (Skip) Rochefort and Michelle Bothwell Chemical Engineering/Biological Engineering, Oregon State University

ABSTRACT The Summer Experience in Science and Engineering for Youth (SESEY) program was initiated in the summer of 1997 with the goal of promoting ethnic and economic diversity in the science and engineering fields through the recruitment of underrepresented minority high school students. Offered as a collaboration between Chemical Engineering and Biological Engineering at Oregon State University, the program has two primary focus groups: 1) traditionally underrepresented students (ethnic minorities and women) who have completed their freshman, sophomore or junior years in high school, and who have an interest in math and science, and 2) science, math, and physics teachers at High Schools which have a substantial population of the student focus groups.

The two groups (target of 20 students and 5 teachers) are brought to the Oregon State University campus for a one-week summer camp (all expenses paid) where they are paired with a faculty mentor in engineering for a one week mini-research project. There are also group learning activities (basic math and science instruction; computer training; field trips) and group social activities. For the students, the emphasis is on exposure to engineering and science as a viable and interesting career path. Career counseling is provided by faculty mentors, and the undergraduate and graduate students who work with the students throughout the week as research project advisors and friends. The culmination of the weeks’ research projects is a poster presentation by the students at the “da Vinci Days Festival of Science and Technology” held each July in Corvallis.

The main goal for the science teachers during their one-week stay is the development of “engineering modules” -- plastics recycling; semiconductor processing; pulp and paper processing; high strength materials; etc., which they develop with their faculty mentor and bring back to their respective High Schools to present to the students in their science classes. This effectively serves as an outreach program for both science and engineering recruitment, and the SESEY program.

A SESEY Home Page was created by Jake Fitzpatrick, one of the SESEY participants, and can be viewed at the following URL:

BACKGROUND Oregon State University was established as a Land Grant University to serve the educational needs of the state of Oregon. OSU is the premier engineering institution in the state, and as such is given the mandate of providing a skilled work force in technologies important to the state’s major industries. Over the past few years several electronics industry giants have announced major capital outlays, with accompanying increases in new employment, in the state of Oregon. The “Silicon Forest” is growing rapidly in Oregon and Oregon State University must respond to meet the challenge of providing a diverse work force to meet industrial needs.

Rochefort, W. E. S., & Bothwell, M. (1998, June), Recruitment And Advising Of High School Students From Non Traditional Groups Paper presented at 1998 Annual Conference, Seattle, Washington.

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