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Summer Research Experience For High School Students And Teachers: A Pilot Program

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2007 Annual Conference & Exposition


Honolulu, Hawaii

Publication Date

June 24, 2007

Start Date

June 24, 2007

End Date

June 27, 2007



Conference Session

Innovative K-12 Engineering Programs

Tagged Division

K-12 & Pre-College Engineering

Page Count


Page Numbers

12.1331.1 - 12.1331.19



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Paper Authors


Summer Dann Johnson

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Ms. Dann is the Education & Outreach Coordinator for the Center for BioModular MultiScale Systems. She is responsible for developing and coordinating recruitment and retention programs in STEM fields related to engineering, biology and chemistry. Prior to her employment with CBM2, Ms. Dann was a design and reliability engineer in private industry. Ms. Dann has bachelor of science degrees in Psychology and Mechanical Engineering and a Master of Science degree in Mechanical Engineering.

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Warren Waggenspack Louisiana State University

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Warren N. Waggenspack, Jr. is currently the Associate Dean for Engineering Undergraduates and holder of the Ned Adler Professorship in Mechanical Engineering at Louisiana State University. He obtained both his baccalaureate and master's degrees from LSU ME and his doctorate from Purdue University's School of Mechanical Engineering. He has been actively engaged in teaching, research and curricula development since joining the faculty in 1988. He was Co-Director of the Education and Outreach program with LSU's NSF-EPSCoR Center for Bio-Modular Multi-Scale Systems (CBM2) and was responsible for the development and implementation of several of the centers K-12 and public outreach programs including the SEHS described herein.

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Brenda Nixon Louisiana State University

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Dr. Brenda Nixon is the Assistant Director for Gordon A. Cain Center for Scientific,

Technological, Engineering and Mathematical Literacy. She is responsible for developing and

implementing continuing education programs for K-12 science teachers. Dr. Nixon has been teaching for over 20 years and currently works in the redesigned high school teacher preparation program. Dr. Nixon has Master and Doctorate of Philosophy in Curriculum and Instruction in Science Based courses.

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Daivon Craft Louisiana State University

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Mr. Craft is a senior electrical engineering student and the Chair of the NSBE student organization. Mr. Craft was the head residential counselor for the SEHS Students.

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Cheryle Peters Louisiana State University

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Ms Peters is the Director for the Minority Engineering Program in the College of Engineering. She has coordinated and directed the Recruit into Engineering High Ability Minority Students for the past 8 years. Prior to managing the MEP Program, Ms. Peters earned her Bachelor of Science degree in Electrical Engineering and was employed in private industry.

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

Summer Research Experience for High School Students and Teachers, A Pilot Program


The Summer Research Experience for High School Students and Teachers (SEHS) a pilot program targeting high school students and teachers, was offered at Louisiana State University, a Carnegie Research I University. The program provided research and mentoring opportunities to students and teachers who were predominantly from rural schools. This academic and leadership program was developed as a result of informal surveys of students and teachers as well as requests by faculty researchers, teachers and entities outside of the university system. The SEHS program expanded and improved upon some existing programs on the university’s campus and incorporated new activities and collaborations between various Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) based entities within the university system and in the surrounding community. This pilot program was the result of an interdisciplinary collaboration among university STEM researchers, faculty departments and researchers and primary and secondary education school boards and superintendents. The collaborative effort provided a unique opportunity to strengthen K-12 connections to the university so that the community is more aware of research conducted by the university and the opportunities for learning for the students.

The Surrounding Community

Louisiana State University is located in Baton Rouge, the capital of the state. Baton Rouge is one of five metropolitan regions within the state and has a population of approximately 500,000. Of the state’s total estimated population of 4.5 million for 2005, approximately 1.1 million live in rural locations. Within the city limits, the elementary and secondary school system is comprised of a combination of public and private institutions.

According to the US Census Bureau statistics for 2004, the median household income in the state is $32,700 with an estimated 20% of the population living below the poverty level. Only 19% of the population age 25+ has a bachelor degree or higher. The Census Bureau reports that approximately 64% of the state is white, 33% is African American, and approximately 3% is “other.” [1] The state is also in the lowest percentile in the nation for beginning teacher salaries, ranging from $27,000 to $32,000. [2] The median salary range for teachers is approximately $39,000.

Literary Review and Historical Trends

A literary review of documents, papers and websites on STEM educational trends and on behavior and perception modification were used to assist in developing the SEHS program. The literary review of published documents was used to determine the historical trends and behaviors. The National Science Foundation (NSF) and the Department of Labor provided the majority of the STEM educational trend information for program development. [2, 9, 10]

Dann Johnson, S., & Waggenspack, W., & Nixon, B., & Craft, D., & Peters, C. (2007, June), Summer Research Experience For High School Students And Teachers: A Pilot Program Paper presented at 2007 Annual Conference & Exposition, Honolulu, Hawaii. 10.18260/1-2--2476

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