June 26, 2011
June 26, 2011
June 29, 2011
K-12 & Pre-College Engineering
22.1326.1 - 22.1326.8
Stimulating K-12 Student Interest through Industry, Engineering College and K-12 School PartnershipsAbstractIndustries that employ engineers have an interest in supporting the children of theircommunities through pipeline programs to encourage K-12 students to develop interestand excel in mathematics, science, technology, and engineering. This can beaccomplished by supporting the efforts of local K-12 schools to encourage students topursue careers in STEM fields. We have found that industry often has funding but maylack the knowledge, staff, and other means to effectively work with K-12 schools toaccomplish these STEM education goals.This deficit can be overcome through partnerships with engineering colleges at localinstitutions of higher education. The engineering college has the human resources andskills to support K-12 school STEM education programs. Thus, industry funding can bechanneled through the engineering college, which can provide needed support through K-12 school contact and oversight by engineering faculty, student and teacher mentoringand support by graduate students, and administration of funds. The K-12 schools receivesupport and seed money to build a program that engages students in learning applicationsof science and mathematics as well as participating in competitions with students fromother schools in a fun and stimulating environment. Without such support, theseactivities often would not take place.Results from the application of this model will be presented. A project was funded by thephilanthropic foundation of a large corporation to provide services to K-12 schools instimulating student interest in the STEM fields that the corporation wished to target. Theengineering college and each local K-12 school district worked in partnership todetermine the best way to utilize the funds for maximum benefit in STEM education forthat district. This naturally varied between districts based on the size of the school andthe interest of teachers. In this case, the bulk of the funding directly supported highschools and middle schools for participation in Science Olympiad and FIRST roboticscompetitions.A graduate student was provided to each school, with a stipend and tuition paid from themoney provided by the grant. A faculty member was tasked with maintaining contactwith the schools to assess changing needs and to be a liaison between the engineeringcollege, the schools, and the graduate students.Assessment of the project was based on the impact observed on STEM programs in eachof the K-12 districts supported. This was measured by the student STEM engagementactivities that otherwise would not have occurred. As an example, over the 3 year term ofthe grant, one FIRST robotics team grew from 7 student participants to 27, includingstudents from nearby schools and home-schooled students who would not otherwise havehad the opportunity to be involved.This project can serve as a model for institutions who are interested in creating a pipelineprogram in partnership with their local industry and K-12 communities. The authors willshare our experiences in balancing the interests and needs of the participatingorganizations.
Pawloski, J. S., & Standridge, C. R., & Plotkowski, P. D. (2011, June), Stimulating K-12 Student Interest through Industry, Engineering College and K-12 School Partnerships Paper presented at 2011 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, Vancouver, BC. 10.18260/1-2--18759
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: © 2011 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