June 18, 2006
June 18, 2006
June 21, 2006
Minorities in Engineering
11.1106.1 - 11.1106.12
Science, Engineering, and Technology as Career Paths to Minority Students
Rafic Bachnak, Korinne Caruso, Jack Esparza, Marc Mendez Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi Corpus Christi, TX 78412
Summer workshops to attract local area high school students to science and engineering careers have been conducted at Texas A&M-Corpus Christi for the last three years. These workshops are designed to improve the recruitment of underrepresented students in science, engineering, and technology by introducing them to college life, involve them in hands-on activities, and offering them network opportunities. Our goal is to make the activities of this project an integral part of the recruiting and training efforts and expand them to reach a larger geographical area and a higher number of underrepresented students. This paper will describe the program and present some results.
Strategies employed to recruit and retain students in engineering and engineering technology programs include hands-on approaches [1, 2], field trips [3, 4], summer workshops , and software training programs . This paper discusses a project that uses all these methods to attract underrepresented students to science and engineering. The program includes presentations at high schools, invited speakers, field trips, hands- on laboratory activities, and science and technology exhibits1 . Specifically, the program involves attracting 11th grade students to attend a two-week Science and Technology workshop. At this level, students are ready to make decisions that affect them for the rest of their lives; selecting the college they wish to attend and choosing the field of study they wish to pursue.
The workshop is designed to introduce students to job opportunities in the food industry and agriculture, expose them to college life, involve them in hands-on activities, and encourage them to pursue science and engineering careers. One of our goals is to make the activities undertaken by this project an integral part of the recruiting and training efforts and expand them to reach a larger geographical area and a higher number of underrepresented students. After the completion of the summer workshops, students are recruited to participate in a follow-up Science and Technology Exhibit, conducted during National Engineer’s Week in February of each year. This exhibit consists of high school students of all levels creating unique LEGO® inventions using the LEGO® MINDSTORMS™ kits provided by the university. It is anticipated that this innovative approach, focusing on the 11th grade, can serve as a model for other institutions and for future national efforts.
1 This project is funded in part by the CSREES-USDA, award # 2002-38422-12160
Bachnak, R., & Caruso, K., & Esparza, J., & Mendez, M. (2006, June), Science, Engineering, And Technology As Career Paths To Minority Students Paper presented at 2006 Annual Conference & Exposition, Chicago, Illinois. 10.18260/1-2--40
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