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Two Preferred Activities Using S-STEM

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2012 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition


San Antonio, Texas

Publication Date

June 10, 2012

Start Date

June 10, 2012

End Date

June 13, 2012



Conference Session

NSF Grantees' Poster Session

Tagged Topic

NSF Grantees Poster Session

Page Count


Page Numbers

25.1381.1 - 25.1381.12



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Paper Authors


Mo Ahmadian Eastern New Mexico University

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Mohamad H. Ahmadian is a professor of electronics engineering technology at Eastern New Mexico University. He also serves as ABET/TAC program evaluator for electronics and computer engineering technology programs. He received his B.S., M.S., and Ph.D. in electrical engineering from the University of Missouri, Columbia. Before starting his Ph.D. work, he worked three years as a project engineer.

Tom Brown is a professor of computer science and the chair of the Mathematical Sciences Department at Eastern New Mexico University. He received his B.S. in mathematics education and M.S. in mathematics with an emphasis in statistics from the Illinois State University and his Ph.D. in applied mathematics from the University of New Mexico. Prior to joining ENMU, he worked as a senior scientist for Schafer Corporation and MZA Associates Corporation for a few years.

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Two Preferred Activities Using S-STEMAbstractThis article presents a summary of the two years activities of the NSF Scholarships in Science,Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (S-STEM that includes the model used, expectationsfrom scholarship recipients (scholars) and their responses to a survey. Scholars were required toregister in a one credit-hour course. Having scholars in a class enabled us to team them up insmall groups. Each team was given a task and each team’s activities were monitored to makesure all the team members were involved and contributed equally. According to a studyconducted by J. D. Angrist (MIT) and colleagues involving 1,600 students at a large Canadianuniversity (the equivalent of an American state university with heavily subsidized tuition), thecombination of participation in (a) a scholarship program and (b) academic support servicesresulted in higher grade achievement and retention for females (but both males and femalesused support services and peer advising at higher rates) compared to groups of students whoparticipated in either (a) or (b) but not both. The goal of offering this course was to create an environment where students could work inteams from multidisciplinary STEM programs and demonstrate that students can functioneffectively and gain valuable experience in creating a business, time management and marketing.The first project was to create and present a conceptual business plan. The goal of this projectwas to have students achieve competency in business practices equivalent to proficiency realizedin engineering subject matters, and to develop leadership among students in a multidisciplineenvironment, understanding the components of effective teamwork and the importance of goodcommunication skills. Students were provided with a weekly task. For the second project, the25 students were divided into 5 teams with 5 students per team. The task for each team was tochoose a real company that hires graduates from their disciplines, interview a person from thecompany and give a 30 – 45 minutes presentation about the company. A set of suggestedquestions was made available for students to ask the company’s representative during theinterview.The data collected implies that: [1] every team was effective in accomplishing the given task [2]every team member increased his/her teamwork skills [3] every team member had a positiveattitude toward the teamwork activity and [4] team member’s presentation skills were enhancedsignificantly. Also, there were some concerns and suggestions that included: [1] it would bemore practical to group students in the same discipline [2] the project was too time consumingfor a one-hour credit [3] some members did not work as hard as others and [4] it would help ifthere was a speaker at the beginning of the course to discuss a practical business plan. Overall,students agreed that the course provided them with business and teamwork experience as well asit enhanced their communication skills. 

Ahmadian, M. (2012, June), Two Preferred Activities Using S-STEM Paper presented at 2012 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, San Antonio, Texas. 10.18260/1-2--22138

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