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STEM Program for Female Students

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Conference

2021 ASEE Virtual Annual Conference Content Access

Location

Virtual Conference

Publication Date

July 26, 2021

Start Date

July 26, 2021

End Date

July 19, 2022

Conference Session

Community Engagement Division Technical Session 4

Tagged Division

Community Engagement Division

Tagged Topic

Diversity

Page Count

11

Permanent URL

https://strategy.asee.org/37727

Download Count

11

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Paper Authors

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Jiahui Song Wentworth Institute of Technology

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Jiahui Song received her B.S. in Automation and M.S. in Pattern Recognition & Intelligent Systems from Southeast University. She received her Ph.D. in Electrical and Computer Engineering from Old Dominion University. She is currently an Associate Professor in the Department of Electrical Engineering and Technology at Wentworth Institute of Technology.

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Gloria Guohua Ma Wentworth Institute of Technology

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Gloria Ma is a Professor in the Department of Mechanical Engineering and Technology. She has been teaching robotics with Lego Mindstorm to ME freshmen for several years. She is actively involved in community services of offering robotics workshops to middle- and high-school girls. Her research interests are dynamics and system modeling, geometry modeling, project based engineering design, and robotics in manufacturing.

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Douglas Eric Dow Wentworth Institute of Technology

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Professor at Wentworth Institute of Technology in the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering (started 2008). Education B.A. in Liberal Arts Engineering from Wheaton College (Wheaton, IL); B.S. in Electrical Engineering from Texas A&M University (College Station, TX); M.S. in Computer Science from University of Colorado (Colorado Springs, CO); M.S. and Ph.D. in Biomedical Engineering from University of Michigan (Ann Arbor, MI). Worked in industry for about 9 years at Ampex Corporation (video systems manufacturing) in Colorado Springs CO, Panasonic (central research lab) in Osaka, Japan, and National University of Singapore (center for image enhanced medicine) in Singapore. Post Doc or Sabbatical research was done at Tohoku University (biology information systems) in Sendai, Japan, Mayo Clinic (respiration research lab) in Rochester MN, and Kansai University (knowledge information systems) in Osaka, Japan. Core focus involves embedded electronic systems for applications in medical rehabilitation, health monitoring, physical therapy and assistive technologies. This involves development of hardware and software systems with sensors, embedded control and mechanical actuators. Applications include respiration monitoring, sleep apnea, rehabilitation of impaired muscle for recovery of motor function, health monitoring for elderly to extend independent living, and diabetes management. These systems utilize internet of things (IoT) for remote communication between patient, medical staff, care-givers and instrumentation.

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Abstract

STEM Program for Female Students

Abstract

Despite engineering careers helping to solve problems in society and the environment, and enabling financial independence, a disproportionately low number of women enter engineering careers. One factor for the low participation may be insufficient exposure to compelling engineering activities at an early age. As a response, many educators and activists have initiated STEM activities for younger women to engage in, and potentially increase their interest and likelihood to pursue engineering pathways. Our university has collaborated with local organizations and schools and initiated activities to provide exposure to role models and STEM activities to young women.

One example is a STEM day for Girl Scouts that has been organized at our university for six years. The one day program is to help 4th or 5th grade students explore STEM activities and learn about some of the engineering fields. The event organization is led by the Society of Women Engineers (SWE). The core part of the day has small groups of Girl Scouts rotate through five different STEM workshops. The event was first started in 2014 with 30 students, and has grown to 75 students in 2019. Since 2016 our university has developed a mini program "RAMP for High School Girls" to expose local junior and senior high school girls to STEM fields. The six-week summer program is organized as modules. Each week the female students explore a different STEM discipline. In the past 4 years, about 30 female students participated in the mini program each year. Last year our university started a new STEM program for freshman and sophomore students from a girls’ high school. The event is organized by the student chapter of SWE. The one day program includes three STEM disciplines and the students rotated between the different workshops. 14 female high school students participated in this new STEM program last year.

A survey was conducted to collect data after each program to evaluate the content of the program. 95% students enjoyed Girl Scouts STEM day and 56% of the students knew some/a lot about STEM fields after RAMP program. Students also reflected that they would like to participate more STEM related activities in the future. Many high school students found the workshops to be extremely helpful in helping them to further identify their college interests and majors.

Song, J., & Ma, G. G., & Dow, D. E. (2021, July), STEM Program for Female Students Paper presented at 2021 ASEE Virtual Annual Conference Content Access, Virtual Conference. https://strategy.asee.org/37727

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