Asee peer logo

Texas Tech University’s College Of Engineering Building Computers, Families, And Communities After School Program

Download Paper |


2001 Annual Conference


Albuquerque, New Mexico

Publication Date

June 24, 2001

Start Date

June 24, 2001

End Date

June 27, 2001



Page Count


Page Numbers

6.977.1 - 6.977.9

Permanent URL

Download Count


Request a correction

Paper Authors

author page

John Chandler

author page

A. Dean Fontenot

Download Paper |


The Texas Tech University College of Engineering has developed an after-school program with local junior high schools to establish a practical means for getting seventh- through ninth-graders excited about science, engineering, and technology. The pilot offering suggests the program has significant potential to attract students from populations that traditionally have been underrepresented in science and engineering disciplines into educational and career paths in these fields. In addition, the program also directly addresses the problem of the growing “digital divide.” This program puts computers in students' homes and teaches them meaningful ways to use the technology to relate to their schoolwork, family, and community. At-risk students work side-by-side with their parents and teachers to build their own computers and learn to use them by participating in community-oriented projects that incorporate essentials of science, mathematics, engineering, and technology (SMET) disciplines. They also develop communication and writing skills with curriculum components involving essay writing, business communication, and civic discourse. One of the most exciting aspects of this program is that students are equal participants in a community of learners that includes both their parents and their teachers. This article includes initial results of the pilot study for this program, conducted with 16 at-risk students from low-income families, their parents, and seven of their teachers during the Spring 2000 semester. Because the pilot demonstrated an extremely high degree of positive potential, a number of entities in the Lubbock community have formed a consortium to significantly extend the scope of the program. This article describes the plan for increasing the scale of the program to make it available to a much larger number of participants and to make the program sustainable over time.

Chandler, J., & Fontenot, A. D. (2001, June), Texas Tech University’s College Of Engineering Building Computers, Families, And Communities After School Program Paper presented at 2001 Annual Conference, Albuquerque, New Mexico.

ASEE holds the copyright on this document. It may be read by the public free of charge. Authors may archive their work on personal websites or in institutional repositories with the following citation: © 2001 American Society for Engineering Education. Other scholars may excerpt or quote from these materials with the same citation. When excerpting or quoting from Conference Proceedings, authors should, in addition to noting the ASEE copyright, list all the original authors and their institutions and name the host city of the conference. - Last updated April 1, 2015