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Summer Camps In Engineering Technology

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2005 Annual Conference


Portland, Oregon

Publication Date

June 12, 2005

Start Date

June 12, 2005

End Date

June 15, 2005



Conference Session

Recruitment and Retention

Page Count


Page Numbers

10.1179.1 - 10.1179.11



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Paper Authors

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Deborah Sharer

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David Murphy

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Stephen Kuyath

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

Session 1149

Summer Camps in Engineering Technology Stephen J. Kuyath, David L. Murphy, Deborah L. Sharer UNC Charlotte, Department of Engineering Technology


There is mounting evidence that a nationwide shortage of qualified high-tech workers will jeopardize the country’s economic future. It is also well established that a more proactive approach must be taken to nurture the intellectual development of underrepresented groups so that the pool of scientists and engineers expands to include more women, minorities, and persons with disabilities. This paper will provide a description of the two one-week Summer Camps offered by the University of North Carolina at Charlotte’s (UNC Charlotte) Engineering Technology Department as a part of its Diversity in Engineering Technology project, funded by the National Science Foundation. The purpose of the camps was to involve high school students in an intensive week-long program and show them that engineering and engineering technology could be fun and rewarding.

The Engineering Technology Department at UNC Charlotte has four disciplines: Electrical Engineering Technology, Mechanical Engineering Technology, Civil Engineering Technology, and Fire Safety Engineering Technology. Faculty from each of the disciplines developed an educational, but engaging, hands-on activity designed to pique the interest of the campers. The students were encouraged through daily competitions (and a point system) to participate fully in the activities and score the highest number of points. Each student took home prizes at the end of the week, with the higher points allowing an earlier selection off the prize table.

In this paper, we describe in detail the objectives and activities developed for each of the four disciplines. Students participated in fire safety activities, bridge building (with a test to destruction), a GPS treasure hunt (geocaching), solar and fuel cell driven model cars with a test of performance, and a trebuchet building day that included testing of accuracy and distance. Throughout the camp and afterwards, students provided candid feedback about each of the activities, what they liked and disliked, and what they thought we could do better. The camps were very well received and the students overwhelmingly indicated that they would like to participate again next year. We will offer a discussion of the lessons learned by this experience, a description of the changes we will establish for next year, and how the summer camps are an integral part of the Diversity in Engineering Technology project.

Proceedings of the 2005 American Society for Engineering Education Annual Conference & Exposition Copyright © 2005, American Society for Engineering Education

Sharer, D., & Murphy, D., & Kuyath, S. (2005, June), Summer Camps In Engineering Technology Paper presented at 2005 Annual Conference, Portland, Oregon. 10.18260/1-2--15526

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