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The Effect of Humanitarian Engineering on Female Learning and Confidence

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Conference

2020 ASEE Virtual Annual Conference Content Access

Location

Virtual On line

Publication Date

June 22, 2020

Start Date

June 22, 2020

End Date

June 26, 2021

Conference Session

Biological and Agricultural Engineering Division Technical Session 2

Tagged Division

Biological and Agricultural Engineering

Tagged Topic

Diversity

Page Count

13

DOI

10.18260/1-2--35307

Permanent URL

https://peer.asee.org/35307

Download Count

95

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Paper Authors

biography

Tara Gupte Wilson Ohio State University

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Tara Wilson is a graduating undergraduate student of Food, Agricultural, and Biological Engineering at The Ohio State University. For the past six semesters, she has worked as a teaching associate for OSU’s fundamentals of engineering honors program - a first year, introductory course required for all honors engineering students. She also spent two semesters working as a teaching assistant for the Food, Agricultural, and Biological Engineering Department's thermodynamics class. She worked in a chemical engineering laboratory for four semesters studying separation of human red blood cells from whole blood. After that, she spent four semesters studying engineering education, resulting in four publications. She also volunteers at a free clinic called Physicians Care Connections, the Dublin Food Pantry, and Sandlot Children’s Sports Camp. This fall she will begin her masters in Biomedical Engineering at Wright State University.

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Derek Breid Saint Vincent College Orcid 16x16 orcid.org/0000-0001-9240-5811

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Derek Breid is an assistant professor of Engineering at Saint Vincent College. His interests include integrating active learning techniques into classic engineering courses, and studying the mechanical behavior of soft materials.

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Ann D. Christy P.E. Ohio State University Orcid 16x16 orcid.org/0000-0001-9172-0609

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Ann D. Christy, PE, is a professor of Food, Agricultural, and Biological Engineering and a professor of Engineering Education at the Ohio State University (OSU). She earned both her B.S. in agricultural engineering and M.S. in biomedical engineering at OSU, and her Ph.D. in environmental engineering at Clemson University. She worked for an engineering consulting firm before entering academia and continues to collaborate with the consulting industry. She has taught courses in bioenergy, biological engineering, capstone design, HVAC, thermodynamics, waste management, professional development, and engineering teaching. Her research interests include energy, the environment, and engineering education. She is assistant dean for teaching and learning in the College of Engineering. She is a second-generation woman engineer.

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Clarissa Belloni Ohio State University

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Clarissa Belloni is an Assistant Professor of Practice at The Ohio State University, teaching courses in mechanical engineering and supervising student research in the Hydro and Aero Energy Group. She is an IEC subject matter expert developing industrial standards for hydrokinetic resource assessments. Her previous industry positions include Head of R&D at a German start-up company, developing hydrokinetic river turbines for rural electrification and as an energy research specialist at GE Global Research Europe. She is a graduate of both the University of Oxford and the Technical University of Munich. She is an Author and co-author of publications and patents in the fields of applied fluid dynamics and thermodynamic processes, as well as engineering education.

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Abstract

There is a growing field within engineering education that focuses on the application of engineering skills to low socio-economic, marginalized, or under-served populations. One benefit of implementing these humanitarian engineering programs is that this may be a way to improve retention of women within engineering. Humanitarian courses, including humanitarian engineering senior design capstones and service-learning study abroad programs, have higher enrollment of women than their traditional counterparts. Analyzing the motivations of participants in these programs reveals that women gravitate towards projects that allow them to become a “global professional” and “make a difference” while men want to “make a difference” by working on “exciting immersive real-world projects.” Thus, women seem to prefer projects that make a difference to other people while men choose work that they personally find to be exciting. However, within the existing research, there is little that explores the impact of these projects on the learning outcomes of women. This study compares the academic performance of women in a junior-level thermodynamics course when the course includes a service-learning project versus performances in a traditional thermodynamics course with no additional humanitarian project work. Surveys were given to students in three thermodynamics classes from two different universities to assess their perceptions about how well they learned the course material. Additionally, the aggregated grades of male and female students in those courses were compared to determine if student grades reflect a difference with the addition of a humanitarian engineering project. The goal of this study is to better understand whether humanitarian engineering projects may be used to improve the motivation, retention and education of female engineering students.

Wilson, T. G., & Breid, D., & Christy, A. D., & Belloni, C. (2020, June), The Effect of Humanitarian Engineering on Female Learning and Confidence Paper presented at 2020 ASEE Virtual Annual Conference Content Access, Virtual On line . 10.18260/1-2--35307

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