June 15, 2019
June 15, 2019
June 19, 2019
Pre-College Engineering Education
With a national initiative to broaden participation in engineering activities, precollege outreach events that focus on engineering are a solution that has been widely implemented. Precollege engineering outreach events are efforts to bring engineering-related activities, events or information to precollege students (PK – 12) or their parents in a location that is accessible to them. While previous studies elaborate on who is participating in these activities (stakeholders), why students choose to engage (inputs) and what students are gaining from their involvement (outputs), minimal research is available on the interconnections between the inputs, the process or experiences and the outputs of precollege engineering outreach. This paper used a lens of systems thinking to evaluate the effectiveness of our precollege engineering outreach events at University X. The Center for Y (CFY) at University X offers many precollege engineering outreach opportunities serving students from 6th to 12th grade and targeting various populations, such as first generation students, JROTC, female students, and international high school girls from North Africa, the Middle East and Central Asia. While basic relationships between elements of these programs will be represented, this paper also presents suggestions for implementing the systems thinking methodology used by the research team in a different setting. As these programs continue and become well established, we are able to identify the longitudinal outcomes of the program making for a more comprehensive understanding of the feedback that enhances or detracts from the success of the outreach events, such as the role of alumni. This paper leverages the combination of well-established and currently developing programs within the CFY department to fully capture the often nuanced interactions within the system of precollege outreach. This study will use interviews with various stakeholders involved in the engineering outreach engagement through CFY to conceptualize the reality of the current system surrounding engineering outreach. With an overall attempt to broaden participation in engineering activities with the hopes that more students will pursue and complete a degree in engineering by establishing a pipeline to engineering degrees, it is imperative that we conceptualize the relationship between inputs, processes and outputs within and among precollege engineering outreach programs. These results will be analyzed with soft systems methodologies and represented with system diagramming, namely systemigrams.
Paradise, T., & Taylor, A. R., & Lester, K., & Boyd-Sinkler, K., & Watford, B. A. (2019, June), Systems Thinking Methodological Approach for Evaluating Pre-College Outreach (RTP) Paper presented at 2019 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition , Tampa, Florida. 10.18260/1-2--33336
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