Asee peer logo

The Impact of Residential Engineering Summer Academies on Middle and High School Students

Download Paper |


2020 ASEE Virtual Annual Conference Content Access


Virtual On line

Publication Date

June 22, 2020

Start Date

June 22, 2020

End Date

June 26, 2021

Conference Session

Pre-College Engineering Education Division Technical Session 20

Tagged Division

Pre-College Engineering Education

Tagged Topic


Page Count




Permanent URL

Download Count


Request a correction

Paper Authors


Vemitra M. White NASA Marshall & Stennis Space Flight Centers/ Texas State University

visit author page

Dr. Vemitra White, a native of Crawford, Mississippi, graduated with her Ph.D. in 2016 from Mississippi State University in Instructional Systems and Workforce Development. She is currently a STEM Education Specialist for NASA Marshall Space Flight Center and NASA Stennis Space Center in Alabama and Mississippi respectively. Also, Vemitra is an Assistant Professor for the LBJ Institute for STEM Education and Research at Texas State University. She is very passionate about helping students matriculate through the STEM pipeline and enjoys developing programs that help students build their self-efficacy in STEM. Her areas of specialization are: teacher and student professional development, engineering education, project management, K-12 and university collaborator, workforce readiness, and STEM engagement/preparation.

Vemitra is a member of the Columbus Lowndes County Alumnae Chapter of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc., the recent award recipient of the 2019 Zacharias Distinguished Staff Award , the 2019 Bagley College of Engineering Service Award, and a newly elected executive committee member of the Pre-College Engineering Education Division, member of Phi Theta Kappa, Women's Basketball Collegiate Association, and Mississippi Educators Association. Her active participation in these organizations reveals her passion in helping others succeed. Vemitra is also a former collegiate basketball player where she played 2 years of women’s basketball at Bevill State Community College in Fayette AL and her last 2 years at the University of West Georgia in Carrollton GA. She was a 4 year Academic All American.

visit author page


Debra Prince Mississippi State University

visit author page

Debra Lindsey Prince earned her Ph.D. in Curriculum and Instruction from Mississippi State University in 2000 and currently serves as an associate professor in the Department of Leadership and Foundations. Her research interests are focused on poverty and the well-being of children and program evaluation.

visit author page


Jamel Hill Alexander DoD

visit author page

Jamel Alexander received his Ph.D. in Mechanical Engineering from Mississippi State University. Prior to that, he received a Bachelor’s in Physics from Xavier University of Louisiana; two Masters Degrees, one in Applied Physics from the University of New Orleans and the other in Mechanical Engineering from Mississippi State University. Dr. Alexander was the recipient of an NSF Fellowship, two GEM fellowships, and the 2016 NSBE Mike Shinn Member of the Year Award. Dr. Alexander’s research includes multi-functional composites for extreme environments, multi-scale material modeling, STEAM Education, mentoring, and leadership.

visit author page

Download Paper |


Mississippi ranks 48th in U.S. education and 47th in producing a technical workforce. To combat this issue, The XXX College of Engineering at XXX University has developed and implemented two, week-long residential summer academies for 5th to 9th-grade students to increase their engineering readiness, technical transferable skills, creativity, and interests in pursuing engineering careers. The two academies used mini-lectures and team oriented hands-on projects to engage 43 student participants in various engineering disciplines and their design processes. College staff placed student participants into either the Batmen Academy or Wonder Women Academy based on their gender. Researchers gave a Likert Scale survey to each student participant to measure their perceptions and experiences at the completion of the academies. The surveys provided insight into students’ knowledge of various engineering disciplines, their interests to pursue engineering careers, their interests to take more math and science high school courses post completion of the academies, and their perception of the college environment. Further research assessed the differences in student perceptions towards pursuing an engineering degree by grade level, race, and gender post taking part in a week-long residential academy. Results show that majority of the participants’ interests and knowledge of engineering increased because of taking part in the week-long academies. More boys (84.3%) planned to take more math and science courses in high school than girls (60%) post completing the academies. Also, highlighted in the findings were the representations of groups who are traditionally under-represented in the fields of engineering. The academy tailored y for girls were very successful in recruiting African American students. Overall, the week-long academies and instructors on the university campus were effective in increasing student perceptions and experiences in engineering.

White, V. M., & Prince, D., & Alexander, J. H. (2020, June), The Impact of Residential Engineering Summer Academies on Middle and High School Students Paper presented at 2020 ASEE Virtual Annual Conference Content Access, Virtual On line . 10.18260/1-2--35331

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: © 2020 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