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Tour of Engineering Summer Camp for Rising 8th and 9th Graders

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2017 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition


Columbus, Ohio

Publication Date

June 24, 2017

Start Date

June 24, 2017

End Date

June 28, 2017

Conference Session

Pre-college: Summer Experiences for Students and Teachers (2)

Tagged Division

Pre-College Engineering Education Division

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Paper Authors


Dimitra Michalaka P.E. The Citadel Orcid 16x16

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Dr. Dimitra Michalaka is an Assistant Professor at the department of civil and environmental engineering at The Citadel. Dr. Michalaka received her undergraduate diploma in civil engineering from the National Technical University of Athens (NTUA), after which she entered into the transportation engineering graduate program at UF. She graduated with a Master’s of Science in May 2009 and with a Ph.D. in August 2012. Her research is primarily focused on traffic operations, congestion pricing, traffic simulation, and engineering education.

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Robert J. Rabb P.E. The Citadel

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Robert Rabb is an associate professor and the Mechanical Engineering Program Director at The Citadel. He previously taught mechanical engineering at the United States Military Academy at West Point. He received his B.S. in Mechanical Engineering from the United States Military Academy and his M.S.E. and PhD in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Texas at Austin. His research and teaching interests are in mechatronics, regenerative power, and multidisciplinary engineering.

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Susan Marie Engelhardt South Carolina Governor’s School for Science and Mathematics

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Susan Engelhardt receive her BA in Physics from Gustavus Adolphus College, St. Peter, MN and her MS in Kinesiology/Biomechanics from Arizona State University. She currently directs the GoSciTech summer science program at the South Carolina Governor’s School for Science and Mathematics.

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Engineering is an amazing, challenging, and very broad field. It is divided into several disciplines and sub-disciplines. According to, there are up to 40 different engineering degrees. Several sources, including US News and Wired Cosmos, state that there are not enough engineers in the United States to meet the market demand in the majority of these disciplines. How can we attract more students into engineering fields? Expose students to engineering early in their education. This paper focuses on “The Tour of Engineering” which is one class at a summer science program for rising 8th and 9th graders at a Governor’s School for Science and Mathematics. It describes the preparation, execution, student perceptions, and learning outcomes for a week-long (30 hour) class. This class exposed students to the world of engineering by doing hands on activities and learn about different types of engineering, improve problem solving and goal setting skills through team-building exercises, and self-assessments. The activities could be accomplished separately or progressively integrated into a final product. This allowed students to experience the challenges of early decisions in the design process constraining later choices. This paper will present both quantitative and qualitative results of the engineering summer class with recommendations for future activities.

Michalaka, D., & Rabb, R. J., & Engelhardt, S. M. (2017, June), Tour of Engineering Summer Camp for Rising 8th and 9th Graders Paper presented at 2017 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, Columbus, Ohio. 10.18260/1-2--29033

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