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Summer Engineering Experience For Girls (See): An Evolving Hands On Role For The Engineering Librarian

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2010 Annual Conference & Exposition


Louisville, Kentucky

Publication Date

June 20, 2010

Start Date

June 20, 2010

End Date

June 23, 2010



Conference Session

Outreach and Beyond: New Roles for Librarians

Tagged Division

Engineering Libraries

Page Count


Page Numbers

15.1146.1 - 15.1146.25



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Paper Authors


Donna Beck Carnegie Mellon University

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Donna Beck is the Engineering librarian at the Engineering and Science Library of Carnegie Mellon University. She received her MLIS from the University of Pittsburgh. In 2009, she served as President of the SLA Pittsburgh Chapter. She was the winner of the 2007 IEEE Continuing Education Stipend, administered by the SLA Engineering Division.

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G. Berard Carnegie Mellon University

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G. Lynn Berard is Principal Librarian at the Engineering & Science Library at Carnegie Mellon University, where she managed the science libraries for 20+ years. She holds a B.S. degree from Eastern Michigan University and an A.M.L.S. from The University of Michigan. Lynn has served on the Board of Directors of the Special Libraries Association and is a Fellow of the Association. In addition to her expertise as an engineering information professional, Lynn teaches graduate library science courses for Clarion University of Pennsylvania, is a frequent conference presenter and is an author of the Engineering and Technology Section of the reference work Magazines for Libraries now in its 18th edition.

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Bo Baker University of Tennessee Chattanooga

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Bo Baker is the Information Commons Librarian at the University of Tennessee Chattanooga. He is previously the recipient of a Pitt Partners scholarship from the University of Pittsburgh which facilitated his service at Carnegie Mellon University from 2008-2009.

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Nancy George University of Pittsburgh

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Nancy S. George has a Bachelor of Arts degree in Language Communications from the University of Pittsburgh and a Master's Equivalency degree in Education. She has been a junior high language arts teacher for 30 years. She will complete her Master's degree in Library and Information Science in April, 2010, from the University of Pittsburgh.

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

Summer Engineering Experience for Girls (SEE): An Evolving Hands-On Role for the Engineering Librarian


The summer of 2009 marked the third year that the EQT Corporation sponsored a two- week Summer Engineering Experience for Girls (SEE) at Carnegie Mellon University. The program’s goal is to provide junior high girls the opportunity to learn of the appeal of engineering as a career choice by demonstrating how engineering contributions make the world “a better place.” The girls complete an application and attach a copy of their latest report card, a teacher recommendation form, and a one page essay explaining their interest in SEE. Twenty+ participants per year attend the July program free of charge. Librarians are invited to participate each year to provide research assistance. Our approach has changed over time from a one-shot lecture style to co-teaching two hour long sessions that promote step-by-step strategies for conducting research. These sessions include instruction on how to locate energy related websites and how to evaluate them, how to develop presenting and writing skills, and how to properly document sources used in their final presentation. SEE faculty continue to develop their instruction modules based on demonstrated successes from each year. This paper will discuss the impact that the librarian can make during one-on-one interactions with the SEE students and the lessons learned over a three year program cycle.


As self-described on their website,, the Institute for Complex Engineered Systems (ICES) is part of the Carnegie Institute of Technology (CIT), the engineering college at Carnegie Mellon University. Since 2007, ICES has hosted an educational outreach two-week July program for middle school girls. Various Carnegie Mellon faculty members, including a Carnegie Mellon University undergraduate summer intern, along with Engineering and Science Librarians from the University Libraries have worked to create a worthwhile learning experience for the SEE—Summer Engineering Experience for Girls—participants from local Pittsburgh schools. The 2009 schedule is included in this paper to provide a view of the type of sessions incorporated in the program (see Appendix).

Literature Review

A survey of the literature concerning engineering curriculum for girls reveals some broad treatments of the subject. Following WWII-era handbooks offering engineering career guidance to girls by listing vocational options for various science careers, two types of literature that inform this paper appear increasingly prominent from the late 1970s.1, 2, 3 The first may be characterized as literature concerned with student perceptions and the representation of professional scientists and engineers. The second is more concerned with pedagogical strategies and programs designed for pre-college girls. Both treatments

Beck, D., & Berard, G., & Baker, B., & George, N. (2010, June), Summer Engineering Experience For Girls (See): An Evolving Hands On Role For The Engineering Librarian Paper presented at 2010 Annual Conference & Exposition, Louisville, Kentucky. 10.18260/1-2--16030

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