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The Explore Program Introducing High School Women To Eet

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1996 Annual Conference


Washington, District of Columbia

Publication Date

June 23, 1996

Start Date

June 23, 1996

End Date

June 26, 1996



Page Count


Page Numbers

1.460.1 - 1.460.7

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Paper Authors

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Melissa Mattmuller

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

Session 2247

The EXPLORE Program - Introducing High School Women to EET

Melissa Mattmuller Electrical Engineering Technology Purdue University

Abstract - As more women enter the traditionally male dominated fields of science and engineering, it is a curiosity that they are still rare in Electrical Engineering Technology, EET. Part of the reason, it would appear, is that the program is not well publicized at the time young women are making the decision about what course of study they will pursue. As part of an effort to introduce high school aged students to the field, the EET Department at Purdue University has initiated a summer mini-camp for women called the Explore Program. This three-day exploration was designed to inform, entertain and challenge. It provides a unique opportunity for exposure to the campus, faculty, and course work. What follows is a summary of the preparations, activities, responsibilities, costs, and results of the first year’s experiences. An appendix provides guidelines and a suggested timeline for any other university department wishing to start a similar camp.

Introduction - One of the most striking features one may notice when visiting the Electrical Engineering Technology Department at Purdue University is the homogeneity of its student body. Fewer than four percent of the EET student body consists of women. Clearly students would be well served to study in an academic setting that is representative of the world in which they will work. It is unlikely that EET graduates will work in a exclusively white male environment and yet that is the make-up of many of their classes. The EET program at Purdue affords its graduates a wide variety of job opportunities. Starting salaries for EET graduates average in the thirty thousands. Female graduates are highly sought out by industry recruiters. Ideally anyone with the desire and talents to succeed in this program would have access to it. Apparently, however, young women are not aware of the opportunities provided by this discipline at the time they are making choices concerning their education. This is manifested by the fact that most of women in EET transfer in from the Electrical Engineering department, where there are many more of them. It would be better for all concerned if they had the information to make EET their first choice. In the interest of informing high school-aged women of the opportunities that exist for them in EET and in the interest of obtaining more balance in the classrooms, the EET Department at Purdue University has initiated the summer mini-camp, The Explore Camp. The first camp was held over three days in June, from Sunday afternoon to Tuesday afternoon. The goal of the Explore Camp is to increase enrollment of female students in EET by increasing their knowledge, interest, and confidence regarding technical fields. First year objectives included: • Laying the foundation and developing a model to serve for years to come. (This included: staff, funding, and program development.); • Attracting high-caliber female students to participate; • Piquing interest and spreading information concerning EET in a friendly, relaxed environment.

1996 ASEE Annual Conference Proceedings

Mattmuller, M. (1996, June), The Explore Program Introducing High School Women To Eet Paper presented at 1996 Annual Conference, Washington, District of Columbia.

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