Asee peer logo

Show Them Nand Gates And They Will Come

Download Paper |


2006 Annual Conference & Exposition


Chicago, Illinois

Publication Date

June 18, 2006

Start Date

June 18, 2006

End Date

June 21, 2006



Conference Session

Approaches to K -12 Engineering

Tagged Division

K-12 & Pre-College Engineering

Page Count


Page Numbers

11.1128.1 - 11.1128.15



Permanent URL

Download Count


Request a correction

Paper Authors

author page

Steven Barrett University of Wyoming


Jerry Hamann University of Wyoming

visit author page

Jerry C. Hamann received the B.S. in Electrical Engineering with a Bioengineering Option from the University of Wyoming in 1984. He then worked for the Loveland Instrument Division of Hewlett-Packard before returning to the University of Wyoming to complete the M.S. in Electrical Engineering in 1988. Sharing time as a lecturer and National Science Foundation Graduate Fellow, he completed the Ph.D. in Electrical Engineering at the University of Wisconsin in 1993. As a faculty member at the University of Wyoming since 1993, Jerry has pursued research interests in applied robotics and control, signal processing, and higher education teaching and learning. He currently directs the University of Wyoming Hewlett Foundation Engineering Schools of the West Initiative, which is focused upon enhancing the recruitment, retention and quality of undergraduate engineering students.

visit author page

author page

Dennis Coon University of Wyoming

author page

Paul Crips Laramie Middle School


John Pierre University of Wyoming

visit author page

John W. Pierre received the B.S. degree (1986) in EE with a minor in economics from Montana State University. He also received the M.S. degree (1989) in EE with a minor in statistics and the Ph.D. degree (1991) in EE from the University of Minnesota. He worked as an electrical design engineer at Tektronix before attending the University of Minnesota. Since 1992, he has been on the faculty in the Electrical and Computer Engineering Department at the University of Wyoming where he is currently a professor. He was a UW NASA Space Grant Faculty Fellow and a Department of Energy AWU Faculty Fellow during the summers of 1994 and 1995, respectively. His research interests include signal processing education, statistical signal processing, system identification, and signal processing applications to power systems. He is an active member of IEEE and ASEE Societies.

visit author page

Download Paper |

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

“Show Them NAND Gates and They Will Come”


Many universities and colleges are faced with declining numbers of potential engineering students. In Wyoming, this is due to a declining number of high school graduates as well as potential students not being aware of the engineering career field. We have met this challenge with a variety of awareness and recruiting programs. A common thread in these efforts is a hands-on laboratory program in digital design fundamentals. This program exposes students to the exciting world of engineering, Boolean logic, and fundamental design principles. This low cost program consists of a series of theory modules coupled with a hands-on laboratory component. We have purposely developed laboratory modules using low cost, readily available components and test equipment. This approach has been used for the past five years with a middle school girls program, science and engineering summer programs for high school juniors and seniors, K-12 teacher enrichment programs, and also freshmen orientation to electrical and computer engineering programs. In this paper we will describe the modular approach, the low cost laboratory exercises, and also the success of using this approach to attract students to careers in the engineering and science.


Many colleges and universities are faced with declining numbers of graduating high school seniors. This body of students is the primary source of future undergraduate engineering students. At the University of Wyoming, there are many different programs to attract students to the university as well as the study of engineering. A brief summary of each of these programs are provided below.

Summer High School Institute (HSI): The mission of HSI is to provide a place where some of Wyoming’s most intellectually talented high school sophomores can gather before their junior and senior years, living and studying in an environment with no pressure for grades, and sharing ideas and friendship with other gifted students. The primary purpose of the program is to annually draw 100 talented high school sophomore students to the university for an intensive examination of unanswered questions and unresolved challenges. Among the areas that are probed include: world hunger, plants and people, knights and cowboys, drama, ethics and society, communicating with computers, understanding cultural development, pharmacy, fundamentals of computer design and programming, and the links between life and the arts. The goal is not to require students to learn another body of knowledge and pass yet another test. It is, rather to challenge imaginations, focus diverse disciplines on specific issues or problems, and integrate various individual talents into a larger perspective. In the process it is hoped that the selected high school students achieve their academic and personal potential by cultivating their leadership capabilities; to expanding their horizons, developing their adaptability, creativity, and critical thinking

Barrett, S., & Hamann, J., & Coon, D., & Crips, P., & Pierre, J. (2006, June), Show Them Nand Gates And They Will Come Paper presented at 2006 Annual Conference & Exposition, Chicago, Illinois. 10.18260/1-2--160

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: © 2006 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