June 14, 2009
June 14, 2009
June 17, 2009
14.1227.1 - 14.1227.10
The influence of a research experiences for undergraduates program on attitudes toward engineering research
The results of the second year study of a National Science Foundation Research Experiences for Undergraduates (REU) Site are presented in this paper. The program recruited students nationwide to participate in hands-on experimental research in a mechanical engineering department for eight weeks in the summer of 2008. The program matched 10 students with faculty and graduate student mentors in several mechanical engineering laboratories, including experimental fluid dynamics, micro-sensors, laser micromachining, and advanced manufacturing. Participants attended seminars on experimental uncertainty, planning experiments, and presentation of experimental data. Students also attended field trips to local companies where they met with practicing mechanical engineers.
Applicant surveys were employed to learn about the interests and background of applicants, how they learned of the REU program, and why they wished to participate. Among findings of interest were that one-third of student applicants decided to study engineering during the senior year of high school or later, that student applicants were much more likely to have been influenced to study engineering by family or high school teachers than by high school
The admitted students participated in First Day and Final Day surveys and focus groups. Among
that students would expect from an academic course, an appreciation for the precision that research requires, the importance of research literature to the engineering knowledge base, and the patience required to execute experimental programs. The report also discusses how results from the 2007 study of participants at the same REU site were used to implement improvements in the 2008 program, including a seminar on evaluating graduate programs and applying to graduate school. The paper will also compare and contrast participant responses from the 2007 and 2008 program evaluations.
A National Science Foundation (NSF) funded Research Experiences for Undergraduates (REU) Site was conducted during the summer of 2008 at Southern Methodist University (SMU). This was the second year of the program, the theme of which Mechanical Engineering. The theme was selected by the PIs because most of the mechanical engineering faculty research programs have an emphasis on experimental techniques. - active learners1 . Experimental research has also been shown to be effective for improving retention among participants2,3. Research laboratories that participated in the program were the Laser Micromachining Laboratory, the Experimental Fluid Mechanics Laboratory, the Research Center for Advanced Manufacturing, the Laboratory for Micro- and Nano-Mechanics of Materials, and the Micro Sensor Laboratory.
Willis, D., & Krueger, P., & Kendrick, A. (2009, June), The Influence Of A Research Experiences For Undergraduates Program On Students’ Attitudes Toward Engineering Research Paper presented at 2009 Annual Conference & Exposition, Austin, Texas. 10.18260/1-2--5507
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: © 2009 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