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The Evolution Of A K 12 Pre College Program Through Student Leadership Development

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2001 Annual Conference


Albuquerque, New Mexico

Publication Date

June 24, 2001

Start Date

June 24, 2001

End Date

June 27, 2001



Page Count


Page Numbers

6.1000.1 - 6.1000.11

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Paper Authors

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Carl White

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Myra Curtis

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Clifton Martin

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NOTE: The first page of text has been automatically extracted and included below in lieu of an abstract

Session 2270

The Evolution of a K – 12 Pre-College Program through Student Leadership Development Myra W. Curtis, Clifton S. Martin, Carl White Morgan State University


This paper chronicles the evolution and development of the Morgan State University School of Engineering Saturday Academy. The Saturday Academy is coordinated and operated by the Engineering Student Organization Council (ESOC). ESOC was founded under the guidance of the Morgan ECSEL (Engineering Coalition of Schools for Excellence in Education and Leadership sponsored by NSF). ESOC is composed of executive board members from each of the student organizations in the School of Engineering. Through the operation of the Saturday Academy, the Morgan engineering students are able to develop their leadership skills while reaching out to mentor pre-college students. The objective of the Saturday Academy is to expose underrepresented pre-college students in the urban community of Baltimore City to a college campus, to student mentors with whom they can relate, and to learn how science, engineering and mathematics (SEM) relate to their everyday life. While these students participate in hands- on design projects, they learn how to work in teams. They attend classes that enhance their skills in mathematics as well as English, with a focus on critical thinking, writing and speaking skills. The paper describes the program, the leadership structure and the training/mentoring model that has resulted in the current program design and the expanded outreach effort.


In the urban communities the underrepresented student is faced with roadblocks that can impede their educational development. These roadblocks include inadequate classroom environment, inadequate teacher preparation, inadequate educational tools, as well as any family economic and social barriers. Most of these students rarely break through these roadblocks successfully. Consequently, they do not reach their potential to achieve academically. This academic crisis for the underrepresented student is no more apparent than in the fields of SEM. According to the NSF, in 1993 only 6% of the science and engineering workforce in the United States were made up of African-Americans, Hispanics, and American Indians. African-Americans and Hispanics were each about 3% and American Indians were less than 1% of scientists and engineers. Yet, these three ethnic groups together, made up 23% of the total population in the United States.1

In a rush to expose the underrepresented student to SEM, many groups and organizations are ignoring the educational roadblocks when initiating SEM programs. Expectations of these groups and organizations assume that once the underrepresented student is exposed to SEM activities and projects, this will peak their interest to pursue higher education in SEM. This is true; but the underlying problem is not being addressed for these students. As Dr. Carl White stated at a Saturday Academy Partnership Workshop, “These groups are putting SEM careers in front of these students, yet they are not giving them the tools to actually participate in these

Proceedings of the 2001 American Society for Engineering Education Annual Conference & Exposition Copyright © 2001, American Society for Engineering Education

White, C., & Curtis, M., & Martin, C. (2001, June), The Evolution Of A K 12 Pre College Program Through Student Leadership Development Paper presented at 2001 Annual Conference, Albuquerque, New Mexico.

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