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Summer Industry Based Research Internships For Female High School Students

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2003 Annual Conference


Nashville, Tennessee

Publication Date

June 22, 2003

Start Date

June 22, 2003

End Date

June 25, 2003



Conference Session

Women in Engineering: New Research

Page Count


Page Numbers

8.1045.1 - 8.1045.6



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Paper Authors

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Lawrence Genalo

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

Session 2692

Summer Industry-Based Research Internships for Female High School Students

Lawrence J. Genalo, Emily J. Smith Iowa State University


Building on a successful high school internship program started by a National Science Foundation grant in 1997, an internship program has been offered the past two years that provides students opportunities to join university research teams and investigate industrial work environments. The interns develop complete lesson plans targeted at a 5 th – 8th grade audience that are based on the university research and industrial sponsor’s work. These lesson plans are placed on a web site for dissemination. The interns have visited the industrial sponsor to learn about their business and done final project presentations for them.

This program has a history of success in attracting women students into engineering and science majors. It also hopes to have a larger impact in the long term as the 5th – 8th grade audience targeted for the lesson plans becomes of college age and chooses science, technology, engineering, or mathematics (STEM) careers in (hopefully) larger numbers than before.

Introduction and History:

Female, high school summer research interns at Iowa State University work with engineering industries and Iowa State research groups to learn about connections between STEM coursework, research, and the work of the companies. They also are guided in K-12 pedagogy and create web documents based on their research that include complete lesson plans aimed at a target audience of 5th – 8th grade students.

Summer research internships for high school students began in the Program for Women in Science and Engineering (PWSE) at Iowa State University in 1986. In the summer of 1997 an auxiliary program, financed by the National Science Foundation in its initial year, began in the College of Engineering and was called “The Internet Explorers Program.” It extended research internships to twenty high school girls who had completed their junior year with the primary goal of increasing middle school girls' participation in science, engineering, and mathematics (SEM). 1 The interns spent eight weeks during the summer of 1997 on the Iowa State University campus where they researched science and engineering topics, learned programming methods and developed SEM units for the Internet. The Internet Explorers Program has continued each year with the help of contributions from General Motors, Square D, Microsoft, Proctor and Gamble, Goodrich/Delavan, Lockheed, the College of Engineering, the Program for Women in Science and Engineering, and the Department of Materials Science and Engineering. Proceedings of the 2003 American Society for Engineering Education Annual Conference & Exposition Copyright © 2003, American Society for Engineering Education

Genalo, L. (2003, June), Summer Industry Based Research Internships For Female High School Students Paper presented at 2003 Annual Conference, Nashville, Tennessee. 10.18260/1-2--11606

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