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Summer Engineering Academy for First-year Students in STEM: Making the Transition to College Through Coding and Robotics

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2018 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition


Salt Lake City, Utah

Publication Date

June 23, 2018

Start Date

June 23, 2018

End Date

July 27, 2018

Conference Session

First-year Programs Division: Student Success

Tagged Division

First-Year Programs

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Paper Authors


Okan Caglayan University of the Incarnate Word

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Okan Caglayan is an assistant professor in the Department of Engineering at the University of the Incarnate Word (UIW). He received his Ph.D. degree in Electrical Engineering from the University of Texas at San Antonio. The scope of his research ranges from developing new techniques in the areas of digital signal processing with pattern recognition applications to building innovative Internet of Things (IoT) and big data analytics frameworks to be implemented in real-time. Prior to joining UIW, Dr. Caglayan worked as an engineering consultant in the Applied Power Division at Southwest Research Institute. In addition, he was a lecturer in the Department of Physics and Astronomy at the University of Texas at San Antonio teaching Engineering Physics with emphasis on electromagnetism, mechanics and optical science.

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Sreedevi Ande P.E. University of the Incarnate Word

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Dr. Ande is an Associate Professor of Engineering. She has over 10 years of teaching experience in Engineering. She is a Registered Professional Engineer in the State of Michigan. Her research interests are primarily in the area of environmental engineering and science, with an emphasis on contamination and remediation, characterization of metals and materials, and statistical analysis.

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Erik Coronado

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Max Joseph Martinez University of the Incarnate Word

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Samuel Jacob Handowski

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This Complete Evidence-Based Practice paper describes the Summer Engineering Academy that was designed for first-year freshman and transfer students with a declared Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) major. Graduating high school students from around the world apply to the University for their STEM program. Many of them have yet to fully comprehend the expectations and demands that come along with becoming a first-year student. The Summer Engineering Academy, one-week free camp, provided service to a low-to-moderate income student population and offered creative introductory computer programming exercises with hands-on robotics laboratory experiences. The objectives of the camp were twofold: 1. Address students’ academic readiness and self-efficacy for a rigorous STEM degree. 2. Strengthen incoming freshman students’ skills in communication for effective collaboration and data analytics through coding and hands-on robotics activities. The outcome of the first objective was accomplished by putting the emphasis on time management during their first school year and presenting career options after graduation by the guest speakers from various industries. The outcome of the second objective was achieved by developing and implementing technical solutions to problems in computer programming, hands-on robotics, and presenting the results orally and in a written final report. Specific outcomes in analytical skills were: a. conceptual mastery of basic programming constructs in MATLAB: variables, functions, loops and conditional statements b. understanding of basic robotics using Arduino: sensors, actuators, and artificial intelligence c. moderate understanding of abstraction, computational thinking and development The Summer Engineering Academy 2017 was classified as a success based on the increased number of camp participants compared to last year’s attendees. The survey results, students’ written reports and their project presentations reiterated the students’ strong interest in the camp. The participants were motivated and excited about starting their first year at the university, had a better understanding of the career options in their STEM fields, and attained a basic understanding in computer programming and engineering design.

Caglayan, O., & Ande, S., & Coronado, E., & Martinez, M. J., & Handowski, S. J. (2018, June), Summer Engineering Academy for First-year Students in STEM: Making the Transition to College Through Coding and Robotics Paper presented at 2018 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition , Salt Lake City, Utah. 10.18260/1-2--31032

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: © 2018 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