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The Creation, Evolution and Impact of a GK-12 Outreach Model

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2013 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition


Atlanta, Georgia

Publication Date

June 23, 2013

Start Date

June 23, 2013

End Date

June 26, 2013



Conference Session

Research Initiatives

Tagged Division

K-12 & Pre-College Engineering

Page Count


Page Numbers

23.1177.1 - 23.1177.7



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Paper Authors


Lynn Albers North Carolina State University

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Lynn Albers is a Ph.D. candidate in the Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering department at North Carolina State University with a passion for Renewable Energy, Energy Efficiency and K-20 Engineering Education.
Albers has been active in ASEE since 2008 when she presented her first conference paper with Althea Smith in the K-12 and Pre-College Division. Since then, she has authored or co-authored nine ASEE conference papers spanning the K-12 and Pre-College, Mechanical, Minority, and Energy Conversion and Conservation Divisions; presenting all of them with the exception of one paper in 2010 when she was double-booked. Lynn most recently held the position of project coordinator for the ARRA funded Student Energy Internship Program in the Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering department at NCSU. She mentored and coordinated 60+ interns with energy professionals in the private and public sectors and recruited interns to volunteer at Family STEM Nights. Prior to this experience, she was a National Science Foundation Graduate Fellow in K-12 Education working under the direction of Liz Parry, Dr. Laura Bottomley and Dr. Karen Hollebrands in the RAMP-UP program at NCSU. During this tenure she created Energy Clubs for students in grades 3-5. Lynn is passionate about experiential learning and strongly encourages the inclusion of hands-on activities into a curriculum. Her dissertation spans the Colleges of Engineering and Education and quantifies the effects of hands-on activities in an engineering lecture.

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Elizabeth A Parry North Carolina State University


Laura Bottomley North Carolina State University

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Dr. Laura Bottomley received a B.S. in Electrical Engineering in 1984 and an M.S. in Electrical Engineering in 1985 from Virginia Tech. She received her Ph D. in Electrical and Computer Engineering from North Carolina State University in 1992.
Dr. Bottomley worked at AT&T Bell Laboratories as a member of technical staff in Transmission Systems from 1985 to 1987, during which time she worked in ISDN standards, including representing Bell Labs on an ANSI standards committee for physical layer ISDN standards. She received an Exceptional Contribution Award for her work during this time.
After receiving her Ph D., Dr. Bottomley worked as a faculty member at Duke University and consulted with a number of companies, such as Lockheed Martin, IBM, and Ericsson. In 1997 she became a faculty member at NC State University and became the Director of Women in Engineering and K-12 Outreach. She has taught classes at the university from the freshman level to the graduate level, and outside the university from the kindergarten level to the high school level. She is currently teaching courses in engineering, electrical engineering and elementary education.
Dr. Bottomley has authored or co-authored more than 40 technical papers, including papers in such diverse journals as the IEEE Industry Applications Magazine and the Hungarian Journal of Telecommunications. She received the President's Award for Excellence in Mathematics, Science, and Engineering Mentoring program award in 1999 and individual award in 2007. She was recognized by the IEEE with an EAB Meritorious Achievement Award in Informal Education in 2009 and by the YWCA with an appointment to the Academy of Women for Science and Technology in 2008. Her program received the WEPAN Outstanding Women in Engineering Program Award in 2009. In 2011 she was recognized as the Women of the Year by the Women’s Transportation Seminar in the Research Triangle and as the Tarheel of the Week. Her work was featured on the National Science Foundation Discoveries web site. She is a member of Sigma Xi, past chair of the K-12 and Precollege Division of the American Society of Engineering Educators and a Senior Member of the IEEE.

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The Creation, Evolution and Impact of a GK-12 Sustainable Outreach ModelAbstractThe GK-12 outreach program at the university began in 2004 with a grant from the NationalScience Foundation and supplemental funding from the GE Foundation. The goal was toestablish a symbiotic, long-term relationship with the K-12 community to benefit three keystakeholders: the K-12 students, the K-12 teachers and the university students. The initial modelunderwent several iterations during the next six years to help maximize the university’s impactand ability to disseminate intellectual capital to the surrounding community without increasingthe current workload of K-12 students and teachers. To the benefit of all involved, the flow ofintellectual capital was not unidirectional. K-12 teachers reciprocated by helping undergraduatesand graduates improve their soft skills as well as develop successful out-of-school timeprograms. The partnership that was created between the university and the K-12 community hasnot only benefited the three initial stakeholders but has also benefited the university and the K-12school.This paper will define the model and its importance in creating an effective partnership betweenthe university and the K-12 community. Each iteration of the model will be described in termsof the number of staff, out-of-school time programs created and the K-12 students, teachers andschools impacted. During the first three years, as the staff grew, so did the number of out-of-school programs and consequently the number of K-12 students impacted. During the final threeyears, as we experimented with the size of the staff and their roles, we created the moststreamlined version of the model and most cost-effective way to maximize the university’simpact.This final model is significant because of its ability to disseminate intellectual capital whilehelping all of the key stakeholders learn and grow. It also has the potential to work in anyuniversity setting to benefit any local community.

Albers, L., & Parry, E. A., & Bottomley, L. (2013, June), The Creation, Evolution and Impact of a GK-12 Outreach Model Paper presented at 2013 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, Atlanta, Georgia. 10.18260/1-2--22562

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