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Undergraduate Facilitators’ Perspectives of Engineering Summer Programs

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Conference

2015 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition

Location

Seattle, Washington

Publication Date

June 14, 2015

Start Date

June 14, 2015

End Date

June 17, 2015

ISBN

978-0-692-50180-1

ISSN

2153-5965

Conference Session

Technical Session: Student Experience & Perspectives

Tagged Division

Student

Page Count

12

Page Numbers

26.1615.1 - 26.1615.12

DOI

10.18260/p.24951

Permanent URL

https://peer.asee.org/24951

Download Count

109

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Paper Authors

biography

Rachel Jannette McFalls Mississippi State University

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Rachel is a first year masters student in Aerospace Engineering at Mississippi State University. She graduated from Mississippi State University with a B.S. in Aerospace Engineering in May 2014. Her current research interests include K-12 STEM education, first-year engineering, retention, transition, and engineering identity.

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Carla Danielle Grimes Mississippi State University

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Danielle is a first year doctoral student in Biomedical Engineering at Mississippi State University. She graduated Cum Laude from Mississippi State University with a Biological Engineering bachelor's degree in May 2014, and Danielle was inducted into the Bagley College of Engineering Student Hall of Fame in April 2014. Her research interests include females in engineering and K-12 STEM education.

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M. Jean Mohammadi-Aragh Mississippi State University Orcid 16x16 orcid.org/https://0000-0002-3094-3734

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Dr. M. Jean Mohammadi-Aragh is an assistant research professor with a joint appointment in the Bagley College of Engineering dean’s office and the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering at Mississippi State University. Through her role in the Hearin Engineering First-year Experiences (EFX) Program, she is assessing the college’s current first-year engineering efforts, conducting rigorous engineering education research to improve first-year experiences, and promoting the adoption of evidence-based instructional practices. In addition to research in first year engineering, Dr. Mohammadi-Aragh investigates technology-supported classroom learning and using scientific visualization to improve understanding of complex phenomena. She earned her Ph.D. (2013) in Engineering Education from Virginia Tech, and both her M.S. (2004) and B.S. (2002) in Computer Engineering from Mississippi State. In 2013, Dr. Mohammadi-Aragh was honored as a promising new engineering education researcher when she was selected as an ASEE Educational Research and Methods Division Apprentice Faculty.

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Rani W. Sullivan Mississippi State University

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Rani Warsi Sullivan is an associate professor of aerospace engineering at Mississippi State University. She received her PhD, MS, and BS in Aerospace Engineering from Mississippi State University. Dr. Sullivan has teaching and research interests in the area of engineering mechanics, mechanical vibrations, aerospace structures and polymer viscoelasticity. She maintains a strong interest in developing methods to increase experiential education. Her current research involves the characterization of the time-dependent deformation of polymer matrix nanocomposites and the use of fiber optic strain sensing for development of an in-flight structural health monitoring system for an all-composite unmanned aerial vehicle.

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James Warnock Mississippi State University

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James Warnock is the Interim Associate Dean for Undergraduate Studies in the Bagley College of Engineering at Mississippi State University. His background is in biomedical engineering and he has been a big proponent of self-directed learning and active learning in his classes and was the first person to introduce problem-based learning in the department of agricultural and biological engineering at MSU. James is also the Adjunct Director for training and instruction in the professional services department at ABET. In this role, Warnock oversees the development, planning, production and implementation of the ABET Program Assessment Workshops, IDEAL and the assessment webinar series. He also directs activities related to the workshop facilitator training and professional development.

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Abstract

Undergraduate  Facilitators’  Perspectives  of     Engineering  Summer  Programs    Universities  often  use  summer  programs  to  educate,  recruit,  and  inspire  K-­12  students  regarding  future  fields  of  study.  Engineering  summer  programs  for  high  school  students  are  offered  at  universities  all  over  the  country.    It  is  often  reported  that  students  who  attend  an  engineering  summer  program  are  retained  in  undergraduate  engineering  programs  at  higher  rates  than  those  students  who  did  not  participate  in  a  summer  program.    Multiple  calls  to  increase  the  number  of  engineering  graduates  have  resulted  in  engineering  summer  programs  becoming  a  popular  method  to  recruit  and  retain  additional  undergraduate  engineering  students.    Along  with  the  increased  interest  in  summer  programs  comes  the  need  for  more  staff  for  such  programs,  which  has  created  an  opportunity  for  advanced  undergraduate  students  to  design  and  facilitate  summer  programs.    This  paper  investigates  the  experiences  of  two  undergraduate  facilitators  of  two  different  engineering  summer  programs  at  a  large  land-­grant  university  in  the  southern  United  States.    For  this  study  an  auto-­ethnographic  approach  was  taken,  in  which  the  authors  and  facilitators  first  collaboratively  developed  a  series  of  short-­answer  prompts  related  to  our  two  research  questions:  1)  How  can  undergraduate  students  effectively  facilitate  engineering  summer  programs  for  K-­12  students?  and  2)  How  can  the  experience  for  an  undergraduate  student  facilitating  engineering  summer  programs  be  improved?      Examples  of  the  short-­answer  prompts  that  each  facilitator  answered  independently  include:    1)  What  was  the  goal  of  your  summer  program?,  2)  How  was  the  goal  of  the  program  achieved?,  3)  To  what  extent  did  you  as  a  engineering  undergraduate  feel  that  the  goal  was  achieved?,  4)  How  did  you  get  involved  with  the  program?,  5)  Describe  your  experience  facilitating  your  summer  program  and  how  it  may  or  may  not  have  impacted  your  engineering  identity,  and  6)  What  were  some  lessons  learned  while  being  a  facilitator  of  the  program?    Each  prompt  was  answered  independently  and  then  analyzed  for  themes  and  trends.      This  paper  is  a  first  step  towards  better  understanding  how  undergraduates  can  effectively  support  staffing  needs  for  engineering  summer  programs.    Additionally,  the  two  experiences  described  herein  serve  as  exemplars  of  the  roles  that  advanced  undergraduate  students  can  serve  in  support  of  summer  programs.    Finally,  by  analyzing  the  perceived  success  of  the  programs  with  respect  to  the  different  program  goals  and  motivations,  we  provide  tricks  of  the  trade  for  both  undergraduate  and  graduate  students  who  would  like  to  be  or  are  already  involved  in  planning  or  leading  an  engineering  summer  program.      

McFalls, R. J., & Grimes, C. D., & Mohammadi-Aragh, M. J., & Sullivan, R. W., & Warnock, J. (2015, June), Undergraduate Facilitators’ Perspectives of Engineering Summer Programs Paper presented at 2015 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, Seattle, Washington. 10.18260/p.24951

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