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STEM Ambassadress Program

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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

Computers in Education Division Technical Session 10: STEM Outreach

Tagged Division

Computers in Education

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Paper Authors


Afrin Naz West Virginia University Institute of Technology

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Dr. Afrin Naz is an assistant professor at the Computer Science and Information Systems department at West Virginia University Institute of Technology. She is working with high school teachers to inspire the K-12 students to the STEM fields. In last four years Dr. Naz and her team launched six workshops for high school teachers. Currently her team is training the high school teachers to offer online materials to supplement their face-to-face classroom.

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Mingyu Lu West Virginia University Institute of Technology

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Mingyu Lu received the B.S. and M.S. degrees in electrical engineering from Tsinghua University, Beijing, China, in 1995 and 1997 respectively, and the Ph.D. degree in electrical engineering from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign in 2002. From 2002 to 2005, he was a postdoctoral research associate at the Electromagnetics Laboratory in the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. He was an assistant professor with the Department of Electrical Engineering, the University of Texas at Arlington from 2005 to 2012. He joined the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering, West Virginia University Institute of Technology in 2012, and he is currently a professor. His current research interest includes wireless power transmission, radar systems, microwave remote sensing, antenna design, and computational electromagnetics. He was the recipient of the first prize award in the student paper competition of the IEEE International Antennas and Propagation Symposium, Boston, MA in 2001. He served as the chair of Antennas and Propagation Society of IEEE Fort Worth Chapter from 2006 to 2011. He is currently serving as the treasurer of IEEE West Virginia Section.

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Tommi Brooke Kenneda West Virginia University Institute of Technology

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Tommi Kenneda is a student at West Virginia University Institute of Technology, pursuing her bachelors in computer science. She is expected to graduate May 2022. She is a research assistant where she works with WV schools to inspire students to pursue a STEM career.

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In this paper we describe our experience with our “STEM Ambassadress Program,” in which female university students in STEM Background serve as the STEM Ambassadresses of female high school students. The project is sponsored by American Association of University Women (AAUW) and NASA ______. The ambassadresses, who graduated from high schools recently, will mentor high school girls in their high school study. Specifically, about 10 undergraduate students of ______ with STEM majors (preference is given to first-generation college students) are serving as the mentors of high female middle school students. The mentors started their university study recently; in other words, they are just several years ahead of the high school students. As a result, it would be natural for them to become the role models of high school students. Parental and guardian engagement is also a critical piece of this educational initiative as most of these female students parents either did not go to college or are not in STEM fields. We have designed a range of activities around the year to educate the parents in STEM programs and Careers available around the state. Through the STEM ambassadress program, the following three outcomes are anticipated. Outcome 1: Female high school students’ performance in their math and science courses is improved. Outcome 2: Female high school students’ interest in STEM disciplines is increased. Outcome 3: High school students’ parents become more knowledgeable about STEM.

This project is based upon our prior efforts to serve female high school students. Since 2014, a one-week camp named ______________ is organized by _________ for female high school students in every summer, sponsored by Toyota Motor Manufacturing ______. The _______ has demonstrated significant impact on the participating female students. Surveys collected from the participants showed that, about 48% of the girls changed their career preferences to science or engineering after attending the _______. The proposed “ambassadress program” will be integrated with our prior efforts. Specifically, with the initiation of the proposed ambassadress program, our interaction with female high school students will become “two-way” rather than “one-way.” Through the _________, female high school students stay on our university campus for one week, learn STEM knowledge and skills, and communicate with university students and faculty. Through the proposed ambassadress program, university students visit high schools during regular semesters and offer them on-site assistance. With these two elements integrated, we reached a large number of female high school students and maintain year-round interactions with them. We are conducting both summative and formative assessments. We believe its success will set up an excellent model of strengthening the collaborative relationship between universities and K-12 schools. The successful model and experience collected from this project would be promoted to other counties of ________ and other states.

Naz, A., & Lu, M., & Kenneda, T. B. (2020, June), STEM Ambassadress Program Paper presented at 2020 ASEE Virtual Annual Conference Content Access, Virtual On line . 10.18260/1-2--35203

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