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Summer Technology & Engineering Preview At Stout (Steps) For Girls

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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

Outreach: Future Women in Engineering

Page Count


Page Numbers

8.1046.1 - 8.1046.12



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Paper Authors

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Heimdahl Peter

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Brenda Puck

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Danny Bee

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

Session 1692

Summer Technology & Engineering Preview at Stout (STEPS) for Girls

Danny J. Bee, Brenda S. Puck, and Dr. Peter D. Heimdahl Technology Department, College of Technology, Engineering and Management, University of Wisconsin-Stout


This paper presents the successes of the Summer “When I was accepted into the “STEPS for Girls” program for one week last summer.” Technology & Engineering Preview at Stout for Girls (“STEPS for Girls”). In 1997, the University of 1997 camper, when asked in a newspaper interview about the most memorable Wisconsin-Stout (UW-Stout), in partnership with the thing she had ever done. Society of Manufacturing Engineering Education Foundation (SME-EF), initiated an outreach program for girls entering the seventh grade. “STEPS for Girls” is a one-week introduction to the world of manufacturing. The girls manufacture radio-controlled model airplanes from raw materials. The components are fabricated in various laboratory activities using real production equipment. Each girl has an opportunity to fly her airplane with the assistance of skilled radio-controlled aircraft pilots. “STEPS for Girls” campers gain direct hands-on experience in math, physics, chemistry, packaging, computer aided design, rapid prototyping, computer aided manufacturing, CNC machining, metals casting, plastics processing, robotics, web-page development, and printing.

Industry, University, and SME-EF support have been key to the success of this program. The camp has been free to all campers due to the generous donations of industry and university sponsors. The seventh grade outreach program, which has recently completed its sixth camping summer, now has over 900 female graduates from the UW-Stout camp. In addition, there are several hundred other female graduates from branch camps established by SME in Minnesota and Michigan.

Evidence will be presented detailing the outstanding experiences of “STEPS for Girls” graduates and the influence this program has had on their high school course and career directions. Evaluation of the program is conducted centrally by SME-EF. Our first graduates are now high school seniors. Surveys of their college plans will give us our first indication of the impact of the program. Results of the evaluation will be shared. In addition, the paper will present the informal surveys of camp participants taken during their week of activities. UW-Stout anticipates there will be an influx of female students into engineering programs in our region over the next decade as a direct result of the science, math and technology confidence the “STEPS for Girls” campers gain during their summer week long camp.

Proceedings of the 2003 American Society for Engineering Education Annual Conference & Exposition ©2003, American Society for Engineering Education

Peter, H., & Puck, B., & Bee, D. (2003, June), Summer Technology & Engineering Preview At Stout (Steps) For Girls Paper presented at 2003 Annual Conference, Nashville, Tennessee. 10.18260/1-2--12178

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