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Studying the Impact of a Residential Program on High School Students’ Interest in Transportation Engineering (Evaluation)

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2021 ASEE Virtual Annual Conference Content Access


Virtual Conference

Publication Date

July 26, 2021

Start Date

July 26, 2021

End Date

July 19, 2022

Conference Session

Pre-College Engineering Education Division Poster Session

Tagged Division

Pre-College Engineering Education

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Paper Authors


Tirupalavanam G. Ganesh Arizona State University

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Tirupalavanam G. Ganesh is Tooker Professor and Assistant Dean of Engineering Education at Arizona State University’s Ira A. Fulton Schools of Engineering. He is Associate Research Professor in the School for Engineering of Matter, Transport, & Energy. He is an engineer, educator and education researcher who designs, implements and studies learning environments that offer opportunities for mastery learning. His research is aimed at designing, implementing, and systematically studying the impact of engineering education and fostering engineering identity in students. He is also studying entry and persistence in engineering of first generation, women, and under-represented ethnic minorities.

Ganesh is an avid reader and collects books. He enjoys photography, in particular he enjoys taking pictures of nature and doors.

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Jennifer Velez Arizona State University

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In 2013, Velez joined the Ira A. Fulton Schools of Engineering as a Program Coordinator Senior with the K-12 Engineering Education and Outreach team. Since then, Velez has managed such programs as FIRST LEGO League Robotics, MESA, and the National Summer Transportation Institute. She currently coordinates EPICS High (Engineering Projects in Community Service) to engage high school and middle school students in human-centered engineering projects in their communities. Through this program, Velez works to build partnerships with school districts, industry, and non-profits to bring STEM programming to underserved communities across the state. Before joining ASU, Velez spent seven years as an elementary educator at a STEM focus school. She currently holds a Masters of Education in Curriculum and Instruction.

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The National Summer Transportation Institute (NSTI) was a week-long summer residential program supported by the Federal Highway Administration, the state’s Department of Transportation, and a college of engineering in a large university. The program engaged participants in transportation engineering topics with opportunities to interact with engineers who plan and maintain transportation systems. 125 students entering grades 10-12 spent one week living at the university campus. Students participated in tours of transportation-related sites not normally accessible to the public including traffic management centers, airports, and active construction sites. Students also engaged with faculty and toured campus labs related to aviation, structures, and materials. Students were mentored by undergraduate engineering students. Students were asked to read a set of transportation engineering problems and identify whether they were good examples of transportation engineering and how appealing these examples were to enhance their interest in these types of problems. The study found that through a rich set of immersive transportation engineering experiences, statistically significant increases in awareness of- and interest in- transportation engineering could be engendered in high school students.

Ganesh, T. G., & Velez, J. (2021, July), Studying the Impact of a Residential Program on High School Students’ Interest in Transportation Engineering (Evaluation) Paper presented at 2021 ASEE Virtual Annual Conference Content Access, Virtual Conference. 10.18260/1-2--37780

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