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Stimulating an Interest in Engineering Through an "Explore Engineering and Technology" Summer Camp for High School Students

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2014 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition


Indianapolis, Indiana

Publication Date

June 15, 2014

Start Date

June 15, 2014

End Date

June 18, 2014



Conference Session

K-12 Outreach and Out-of-School Time Engineering Programming and Research

Tagged Division

K-12 & Pre-College Engineering

Page Count


Page Numbers

24.1104.1 - 24.1104.10



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Paper Authors


Anca L. Sala Baker College, Flint

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Dr. Anca L. Sala is Professor and Dean of Engineering and Computer Technology at Baker College of Flint. In addition to her administrative role she continues to be involved with development of new engineering curriculum, improving teaching and assessment of student learning, assessment of program outcomes and objectives, and ABET accreditation. She is a founding member of Mi-Light Michigan Photonics Cluster, and is active in the ASEE, ASME, and OSA professional societies serving in various capacities.

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Pattabhi Sitaram Baker College, Flint

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Dr. Sitaram is an Associate Professor and Chair of the Department of Engineering at Baker College in Flint, Michigan. He worked in the automotive industry, mainly at GM for fifteen years as a simulation and methods development engineer in crashworthiness. He hast taught extensively at both undergraduate and graduate
levels in Civil and Mechanical Engineering disciplines. His research interests include Finite Element Analysis & Design, Crashworthiness, and Plates & Shells.

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Tom Spendlove Baker College, Flint

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Tom Spendlove teaches Engineering, CAD, and machining courses at Baker College of Flint in Flint, Michigan. He shifted to education after ten years of product design in the automotive field. Areas of interest and study are 3d printing, the design process, and engineering education.

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Stimulating an Interest in Engineering Through an “Explore Engineering and Technology” Summer Camp for High School StudentsAbstractAttracting a larger number of young people to Science, Technology, Engineering andMathematics (STEM) careers is critical to the United States being able to remain globallycompetitive. One increasingly popular approach by colleges and universities to this end is tooffer on-campus STEM summer camps to high school and middle school students. OurUniversity has offered one-week Robotics summer camps for high school and middle schoolstudents every summer since 2009. The Robotics camps fit naturally with the large number ofFIRST Robotics teams in our area whose students welcome the opportunity to continue learningand practicing skills in the off-season. For the 2013 high school summer camp however,engineering faculty in the Division decided to broaden the scope of the camp to introduce awider population of students to engineering and technology.The “Explore Engineering and Technology” camp attracted a full group of 27 students in its firstrun, out of which 8 were female. The one-week camp was structured around differentengineering disciplines – civil, computer, electrical, mechanical, and optical engineering. A totalof nine instructional modules, each three-and-a-half-hour long, were developed and taught byengineering faculty during the camp. Groups of students rotated through morning and afternoonsessions conducted in our engineering laboratories. They were given an introduction tofundamental engineering principles followed by hands-on experimentation in the lab. In additionto the faculty members teaching the program, a couple of undergraduate engineering studentswere present to help and mentor, which turned out to be a great learning experience for them. Toconclude the camp, participants were asked to choose one of the modules from which to prepareand give an oral presentation during the last session. A competition for the top threepresentations was set-up and awards were given.The paper discusses the content of the modules and the results of the camp as evidenced bystudent presentations and student surveys. The camp was successful in increasing students’interest and confidence in pursuing careers in engineering and technology. Lessons were alsolearned from the first offering of the camp leading to plans for future improvement. Theseinclude development of a Workbook/Lab Manual summarizing all modules for students to useduring the camp as well as keep for future reference. Future plans also include adding newactivities and experiments to accommodate both new and returning students.

Sala, A. L., & Sitaram, P., & Spendlove, T. (2014, June), Stimulating an Interest in Engineering Through an "Explore Engineering and Technology" Summer Camp for High School Students Paper presented at 2014 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, Indianapolis, Indiana. 10.18260/1-2--23037

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