Asee peer logo

Strengthening The K 20 Engineering Pipeline For Underrrepresented Minorities

Download Paper |


2010 Annual Conference & Exposition


Louisville, Kentucky

Publication Date

June 20, 2010

Start Date

June 20, 2010

End Date

June 23, 2010



Conference Session

Attracting Young MINDS in Engineering - Part II

Tagged Division

Minorities in Engineering

Page Count


Page Numbers

15.1103.1 - 15.1103.12



Permanent URL

Download Count


Request a correction

Paper Authors

author page

Nancy Warter-Perez California State University, Los Angeles

author page

Jianyu Dong California State University, Los Angeles

author page

Eun-Young Kang California State University, Los Angeles

author page

Huiping Guo California State University, Los Angeles

author page

Mauricio Castillo California State University, Los Angeles

author page

Alexander Abramyan California State University, Los Angeles

author page

Keith Moo-Young California State University, LA

Download Paper |

NOTE: The first page of text has been automatically extracted and included below in lieu of an abstract

Strengthening the K-20 Engineering Pipeline for Underrepresented Minorities


As the National Academy of Engineers (NAE) report on Changing the Conversation: Messages for Improving Public Understanding of Engineering revealed, there is a public misconception of engineers particularly among minorities.1, 2 The study reported that Hispanic boys in general believe that engineering has a positive effect on people’s everyday lives but Hispanic girls believe that engineers are nerdy and boring. At California State University, Los Angeles (CSULA), a designated Hispanic Serving Institution, these findings are born out in the classroom where the overwhelming majority of Hispanic engineering students are male. Furthermore, while some Hispanic engineering undergraduates opt to pursue a master’s degree, very few pursue a doctoral degree.3

The IMPACT LA Program, Improving Minority Partnerships and Access through CISE (Computer & Information Science & Engineering)-related Teaching, is an NSF Graduate STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) Fellows in K-12 Education Program designed to address these concerns. The program partners graduate fellows who are conducting master’s level research in a CISE-related field with a middle or high school teacher from the East Los Angeles area. Fellows work closely with teachers to develop hands-on activities designed to enhance the educational experience of students and increase their interest in STEM-related fields. The NAE study found that female students in particular relate well to role models, and thus, the program actively and successfully recruited women and minorities graduate fellows for its second year. Of the nine fellows 44% are women and 56% are Hispanic.

The two primary goals of the IMPACT LA Program are to 1) change teachers, students, and parents’ perceptions of engineers and encourage K-12 students to explore engineering and research careers, and 2) to enhance the communication and research skills of graduate fellows. To achieve these goals, during the summer workshop teachers participate in a wide range of exploratory research experiences designed by fellows to introduce teachers to their research areas. During the school year fellows expose students to their research in different ways including informal research discussions, videos showing fellows conducting their research, and by infusing research into hands-on activities.

In addition to trying to get more minority students into the engineering pipeline through our partnerships with East LA schools, MESA (Math, Engineering, Science Achievement), Great Minds in STEM (formerly HENAAC), and industry, the IMPACT LA program is working to strengthen the pipeline by recruiting minority undergraduate students from CSULA and other

Warter-Perez, N., & Dong, J., & Kang, E., & Guo, H., & Castillo, M., & Abramyan, A., & Moo-Young, K. (2010, June), Strengthening The K 20 Engineering Pipeline For Underrrepresented Minorities Paper presented at 2010 Annual Conference & Exposition, Louisville, Kentucky. 10.18260/1-2--16505

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: © 2010 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