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The Influence Of Hands On Female Student Project Teams On The Confidence Of Women Engineering Students

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2007 Annual Conference & Exposition


Honolulu, Hawaii

Publication Date

June 24, 2007

Start Date

June 24, 2007

End Date

June 27, 2007



Conference Session

The Impact of Curriculum on the Retention of Women Students

Tagged Division

Women in Engineering

Page Count


Page Numbers

12.1437.1 - 12.1437.11



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Paper Authors

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Lisa Davids Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University-Prescott

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Heidi Steinhauer Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University-Prescott

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Darris White Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University

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

The Influence of Hands-On Female Student Project Teams on the Confidence of Women Engineering Students Abstract

Based on recent statistics by the US Department of Labor, only eleven percent of Aerospace Engineers and only 5.6% of Mechanical Engineers are women1. Over 85% of the engineering students at Embry Riddle Aeronautical University are in one of these disciplines. Considering that 47% of the general US workforce is comprised of women, continued and increased efforts are needed to increase the number of women entering the engineering workforce. Like many institutions, Embry Riddle has struggled to attract women to our engineering programs. The university is working to increase female participation in all aspects of the engineering program. As shown in figure 1, a component of the multifaceted EmpoWER (Empowering Women at Embry Riddle) program to attract and retain young girls to the engineering field is to provide role female models to dispel the perception that engineering is a male dominated field.

Figure 1: Components of EmpoWER Project

The EmpoWER project has the objective of increasing the number of women at all levels, including undergraduate students, graduate students and faculty. A component of this project is a hands-on all-female student design project. The purpose of this project is to provide a concrete representation of women engineers to prospective female students. Embry Riddle chose to field an all-female team for the Baja SAE competition. Other projects could also satisfy the EmpoWER project objectives. Female involvement in the Baja SAE design project has skyrocketed since the all-female team was established. In 2005-2006, roughly 20 women participated in the first year of the all-female project, which was 10 times the number of female students on the previous co-ed Baja SAE team. In 2006-2007, almost 80 women signed up for the project, which is almost 30% of the total number of female engineering students at Embry Riddle.

Davids, L., & Steinhauer, H., & White, D. (2007, June), The Influence Of Hands On Female Student Project Teams On The Confidence Of Women Engineering Students Paper presented at 2007 Annual Conference & Exposition, Honolulu, Hawaii. 10.18260/1-2--1707

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