June 14, 2009
June 14, 2009
June 17, 2009
14.1253.1 - 14.1253.14
The STEM Outreach Initiative at Robert Morris University
Numerous reports have called attention to the STEM crisis that threatens the competitiveness of the United States1, 2, 3. The National Academies report “Rising Above the Gathering Storm: Energizing and Employing America for a Brighter Economic Future”, identifies high priority actions that the United States needs to take for the nation to successfully compete, prosper, and be secure in the global community of the 21st century. These actions include K-12 STEM education improvement including strengthening the skills of teachers through training and education programs and enlarging the pipeline of students who are prepared to enter college and graduate with a degree in science, engineering, or mathematics. Since its inception, the School of Engineering, Mathematics, and Science has been actively involved in outreach activities and reaches over 750 students, parents, and teachers each year. This paper discusses the rationale for the School’s outreach efforts, describes the various programs and their design, analyzes the impact of the outreach program to date, identifies attributes of a successful outreach program, and discusses the future direction and growth of the STEM outreach initiative at the institution.
The appreciation of the importance of manufacturing to the economy dates back to the writings of Adam Smith and Alexander Hamilton. While the manufacturing sector has experienced cyclical change (growth and contraction) over time, it has been one of the most important contributors to the prosperity and competitiveness of industrialized nations. A recent report by from the Economic Policy Institute highlights the continued importance of manufacturing to our economy1. The report states “While U.S. manufacturing has been hit hard by a decade of rapid import growth and job loss, the manufacturing sector remains a vital part of the U.S. economy. The manufacturing sector supported 14 million jobs in 2007, or about 10.1% of total employment.” Manufacturing still accounts for a significant share of U.S. economic production, generating $1.6 trillion or 12.2% of the GDP in 2006. As documented by the Bureau for Economic Analysis, manufacturing casts a bigger shadow by virtue of the trillions of dollars worth of commodities and services that serve as inputs to the sector.
However, the nature of the manufacturing profession has changed over time. Advances in computing, communications, and distribution systems have fundamentally changed the face of manufacturing (Friedman, among others has written extensively about the flattening of the globe) and have resulted in companies manufacturing and competing on a global playing field2, 3. For example, the Boeing 777 airliner has 3 million parts that are provided by over 900 suppliers from 17 countries around the world. The development effort for the new 787 airliner involves 10 countries4, 5. Similar stories may be found across the manufacturing sector. Changes in political, social, and economic conditions in many parts of the world continue to provide interesting new opportunities and challenges to manufacturers.
Erevelles, W., & Parsons, J. (2009, June), The Stem Outreach Initiative At Robert Morris University Paper presented at 2009 Annual Conference & Exposition, Austin, Texas. 10.18260/1-2--5645
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