Asee peer logo

The Enrichment Experiences in Engineering (E3)

Download Paper |


2014 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition


Indianapolis, Indiana

Publication Date

June 15, 2014

Start Date

June 15, 2014

End Date

June 18, 2014



Conference Session

Addressing the NGSS, Part 3 of 3: Supporting High School Science Teachers in Engineering Pedagogy and Engineering-Science Connections

Tagged Division

K-12 & Pre-College Engineering

Page Count


Page Numbers

24.1213.1 - 24.1213.18



Permanent URL

Download Count


Request a correction

Paper Authors


Robin L Autenrieth P.E. Texas A&M University

visit author page

Dr. Robin Autenrieth was one of the principal investigators on the NSF-funded E3 RET grant. She is currently the Interim Department Head and a Professor in the Department of Civil Engineering at Texas A&M University and holds the A.P. and Florence Wiley III Professor. She earned a B.S. in biological sciences from the University of Maryland, and a M.S. and Ph.D. in environmental engineering from Clarkson University. She holds a professional engineering license in the state of Texas. Her early research focused on microbial systems for the degradation of target compounds. Her work has evolved to using a risk assessment framework to link contaminant concentrations with human exposures for predicting the potential for adverse health effects and identifying strategies to mitigate impacts. She has long promoted engineering awareness in the public education systems and hosts a STEM high school teacher program each summer.

visit author page


Cheryl A Page Texas A&M University

visit author page

Cheryl Page is a Research Engineer in the Department of Civil Engineering at Texas A&M University. She has academic degrees in secondary education and civil engineering, with experience as a secondary mathematics teacher as well as an environmental engineering researcher. She can be reached by e-mail at

visit author page


Karen L. Butler-Purry Texas A&M University

visit author page

Karen Butler-Purry is the Associate Provost for Graduate Studies and Professional Studies as well as a Professor in the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering at Texas A&M University, College Station, Texas. She was one of the principal investigators on the NSF-funded E3 RET grant. Her research interests include computer and intelligent systems applications to power distribution systems and engineering education. She can be reached by e-mail at

visit author page


Chance W. Lewis University of North Carolina, Charlotte

visit author page

Chance W. Lewis is the Carol Grotnes Belk Distinguished Professor and Endowed Chair of Urban Education at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte. He is also the Executive Director of The Urban Education Collaborative at UNC Charlotte. His research interests are in the areas of urban education and the achievement gap, recruitment and retention of teachers of color in urban settings, teacher education and African American student success in K-12 and higher education. He can be reached by e-mail at

visit author page

Download Paper |


The Enrichment Experiences in Engineering (E3) Teacher Program: Analysis of Post-Program SurveysAbstractSince 2002, the Enrichment Experiences in Engineering (E3) summer teacher program hasprovided engineering research opportunities to Texas public high school teachers. Throughfunding by the National Science Foundation’s Research Experiences for Teachers (RET)program, E3 has hosted a total of 150 teachers. Most of the teachers have come from schoolswith high minority student populations (average 83% Hispanic and/or African American;average 69% economically-disadvantaged). Although the program has evolved over the yearsdue to ongoing formative evaluation efforts, the E3 program goal “to involve teachers inengineering research” has remained the same as have the three core objectives: (1) Provideengineering research experiences and enhance understanding of the nature of engineering; (2)Scaffold teacher development of inquiry-based classroom activities; and (3) Improve teacher(and indirectly their students) knowledge about careers in engineering.The E3 program was designed to bring high school science and mathematics teachers to the“University” campus for a four-week summer residential experience where the teachers arementored by engineering faculty. During the program, teachers were involved in: (a) hands-onparticipation with current engineering research, (b) activities to broaden their awareness ofengineering career opportunities for their students, and (c) development of an engineering projectfor implementation in their high school classroom.Although the E3 program is not a research project, the E3 program’s goal and core objectives canbe linked to anticipated outcomes. As part of the program’s formative and summativeevaluation, anonymous online surveys were administered to participants in several E3 summerprograms using the traditional pre- and post-program survey format, and participants were askedto respond to survey statements using a Likert scale of responses. Analysis of participantresponses led to concerns about pre-program response overestimation and concomitant responseshift bias for several of the survey questions. As a result, questions were restructured using theretrospective post-then-pre design in post-program surveys and revised surveys wereadministered to participants in subsequent E3 summer programs. Preliminary survey findingsindicate that the E3 participants experienced substantial changes in the following areas: (a)Improved understanding of the engineering discipline; (b) Heightened awareness of the breadthof engineering careers; and (c) Greater familiarity regarding important skills and attributes to bea successful engineer. During the 11 years of the E3 program, all participants developed anengineering-related activity for their classroom, and the vast majority was able to implementtheir E3 lesson during the subsequent academic year.

Autenrieth, R. L., & Page, C. A., & Butler-Purry, K. L., & Lewis, C. W. (2014, June), The Enrichment Experiences in Engineering (E3) Paper presented at 2014 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, Indianapolis, Indiana. 10.18260/1-2--23146

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: © 2014 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