Asee peer logo

The Effectiveness of a Multi-year Engineering Enrichment

Download Paper |


2018 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition


Salt Lake City, Utah

Publication Date

June 23, 2018

Start Date

June 23, 2018

End Date

July 27, 2018

Conference Session

Girls in Engineering

Tagged Division

Pre-College Engineering Education

Tagged Topic


Page Count




Permanent URL

Download Count


Request a correction

Paper Authors


Linda S Hirsch New Jersey Institute of Technology

visit author page

LINDA S. HIRSCH is the Assistant Director for Research, Evaluation and Program Operations for the Center for Pre-College programs at New Jersey Institute of Technology. Dr. Hirsch has a degree in educational psychology with a specialty in Educational Statistics and Measurement from the Graduate School of Education at Rutgers University. She has been involved in all aspects of educational and psychological research for over 20 years. Dr. Hirsch has extensive experience conducting longitudinal research studies and is proficient in database management, experimental design, instrument development, psychometrics and statistical programming.

visit author page

Download Paper |


Prior research comparing aspects of single-gender (female-only & male-only) summer enrichment programs to equivalent mixed-gender programs found female-only programs to be effective in educating young girls about engineering, positively influencing their perceptions of engineers and attitudes toward engineering as a career, with mixed results. A more recent examination of gains in content knowledge, self-efficacy, beliefs about gender equity and qualitative perceptions of engineers using the Middle School Attitudes toward Engineering, Knowledge of Engineering Careers Survey and the Draw an Engineer Test in equivalent post-4th grade, 2015 summer programs found significantly positive results; females in the single-gender program showed greater improvement in engineering content knowledge than females in a mixed-gender program, as well as significant increases in self-efficacy and perceptions that women can be engineers. Each program accepts 25 students each summer, with priority given to returning students. A follow-up study was conducted during the summer of 2016 to determine if changes in girls’ attitudes towards engineering, perceptions of engineers and gains in content knowledge were sustained. A majority of the students who participated during 2015 returned for the post-5th grade program in 2016 with 50% more new students. Comparisons amongst the 2016 mixed- and single-gender programs and between the 2015 and 2016 programs showed sustained effects for returning students, especially girls, and a greater 2016 impact for girls who participated in the 2015 single-gender program. A third year follow-up was conducted during the summer of 2017. Of the 25 girls who participated in the post-6th grade program, 10 of them had previously attended the post-4th grade and post 5th grade programs during the summers of 2015 and 2016 respectively. An additional 5 girls attended the post 5th grade program during the summer of 2016. In addition to repeating the same follow-up evaluation(s) performed in 2016, with further positive results, parents of returning students were asked to respond to a survey regarding their child’s school performance and interest in a STEM career. Eighty-three percent of the parents whose daughter had previously attended the female-only program for either one or two summers reported that her grades in mathematics and science had improved and 96% reported that she had expressed an interest in further STEM studies since attending the previous summer.

Hirsch, L. S. (2018, June), The Effectiveness of a Multi-year Engineering Enrichment Paper presented at 2018 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition , Salt Lake City, Utah. 10.18260/1-2--31090

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: © 2018 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