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STEM Enrichment Program for High School Students: Results and Lessons Learned (Evaluation)

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2018 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition


Salt Lake City, Utah

Publication Date

June 23, 2018

Start Date

June 23, 2018

End Date

July 27, 2018

Conference Session

Girls in Engineering

Tagged Division

Pre-College Engineering Education

Tagged Topic


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Paper Authors


Rafic Bachnak Pennsylvania State University, Harrisburg, The Capital College

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Rafic A. Bachnak is Professor of Electrical Engineering and Director of the School of Science, Engineering, and Technology at Pennsylvania State University-Harrisburg. Previously, Dr. Bachnak was on the faculty of Texas A&M International University, Texas A&M-Corpus Christi, Northwestern State University, and Franklin University. Dr. Bachnak received his B.S., M.S., and Ph.D. degrees in Electrical Engineering from Ohio University. His experience includes several fellowships with NASA and the US Navy Laboratories and employment with Koch Industries. Dr. Bachnak is a registered Professional Engineer in the State of Texas, a senior member of IEEE and ISA, and a member of ASEE.

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Susan Kathryn Eskin Pennsylvania State University, Harrisburg, The Capital College

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Susan K. Lemieux Eskin is an Assist. Teaching Prof. of Physics in the EE/EET department of the School of Science, Engineering and Technology at Penn State University, Harrisburg. She earned her A.S. in Computer Science at Brescia University, Kentucky, a B.S. and M.S. in Physics at the University of Kentucky in Lexington and a PhD in Physics, at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. She did a post-doctoral fellowship in Advanced Imaging Techniques at Stanford University. She was previously on the faculty of West Virginia University and Temple University. She is certified in Magnetic Resonance Physics by the American Board of Medical Physics.

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Sara Love Penn State Harrisburg

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STEM Enrichment Program for High School Students: Results and Lessons Learned (Evaluation)

Summary- The shortage of STEM graduates in the United States has been the focus of numerous recent reports. Data compiled by the American College Testing in 2008 shows that the overall four-year engineering graduation rate was 22% in public schools and 45% in private schools. While there are many causes that result in low graduation rates, it is more likely that rates could be improved if students are well-prepared for college and have clear future career goals. Universities are implementing programs that employ several high impact retention approaches, including advising, mentoring, active learning, student engagement, and support services. This paper describes a two-week summer enrichment program that focuses on improving student preparedness for college, while promoting active learning through hands-on experiences and activities. The program is a partnership with industry with a major goal of engaging under-represented students, including female students, in STEM. Students are introduced to various engineering disciplines through hands-on activities that included topics in chemistry, biology, physics, mathematics, computer science, electrical engineering, civil engineering, and mechanical engineering. The program also includes two field trips where students tour relevant facilities that employ engineers and scientists.

In summer 2016, 28 students successfully completed the workshop. The group included 10 females and 15 minority (none-white, self-reported) students. Participants represented 12 high schools and one home-schooled student. In summer 2017, 33 students successfully completed the workshop. The group included 14 females and 16 minority (none-white, self-reported) students representing 19 high schools. The paper will present program data and discuss results and lessons learned.

Bachnak, R., & Eskin, S. K., & Love, S. (2018, June), STEM Enrichment Program for High School Students: Results and Lessons Learned (Evaluation) Paper presented at 2018 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition , Salt Lake City, Utah. 10.18260/1-2--30989

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