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Tech Prep: Seeding Technology Careers Via Michigan Tech University's Enterprise Program

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2005 Annual Conference


Portland, Oregon

Publication Date

June 12, 2005

Start Date

June 12, 2005

End Date

June 15, 2005



Conference Session

Collaborations Between Engineering/Education

Page Count


Page Numbers

10.1242.1 - 10.1242.9



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Paper Authors

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John Lehman

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David Stone

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Mary Raber

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

Tech PrEP: Seeding Technology Careers via Michigan Tech University’s Enterprise Program

John B. Lehman, Mary B. Raber, David H. Stone Michigan Technological University


Since the fall of 2000, Michigan Technology University’s undergraduate Enterprise Program ( concept of cross-disciplinary problem solving and product generation has created active learning environments for undergraduate students across campus. Within the program, teams of students from a broad base of disciplines are provided an opportunity to work for several years in a business-like setting to solve real-world engineering problems supplied by industry. Through participation in the program, Enterprise students are able to develop not only technical competence, but also an understanding of the practical application of skills and knowledge in areas such as communication, relationships, conflict resolution, leadership, teamwork, global markets and competition, environmental and social issues, ethics, and business.

Michigan Tech strongly believes that in order to increase the numbers of minority and female students who select to enroll in technical programs, students must be introduced to engineering and science while they are in elementary and secondary school. For the last 30 years, Michigan Tech’s Youth Programs ( have provided pre-college students opportunities to explore engineering and science-related fields through intensive summer workshops. In ten years of data tracking, approximately 35% of Youth Programs participants return for admission to the University after participation in the programs.

MTU is attempting to build upon the success of these two unique programs – Enterprise and Summer Youth – by extending the Enterprise educational concept to the summer youth participants through the introduction of a mini-enterprise experience. The mini-enterprise experience is designed to introduce and involve students in engineering and technology by using contextual learning experiences that will increase the technological capabilities of the future workforce. The intent is to provide a vehicle for increasing participation of minority and females, thus improving technology education and the technological capabilities of our future workforce. Furthermore, by building upon the belief that students grasp a better understanding of concepts when given an opportunity to teach them to others, the mini-enterprise experience provides undergraduate students an opportunity to help with the development and delivery of educational materials to the pre-college students, thereby strengthening their own level of understanding.

To date, this concept has been piloted with several of our enterprises ~ Aqua Terra Tech, Consumer Product Manufacturing and Wireless Communication, with great success. This paper will summarize the results of these pilot Enterprise-Summer Youth experiences, highlighting the

“Proceedings of the 2005 American Society for Engineering Education Annual Conference & Exposition Copyright © 2005, American Society for Engineering Education”

Lehman, J., & Stone, D., & Raber, M. (2005, June), Tech Prep: Seeding Technology Careers Via Michigan Tech University's Enterprise Program Paper presented at 2005 Annual Conference, Portland, Oregon. 10.18260/1-2--14502

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