Virtual On line
June 22, 2020
June 22, 2020
June 26, 2021
Biological and Agricultural Engineering
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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