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University And Community Partnerships For Reaching Pre College Students: The Epics Model

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2005 Annual Conference


Portland, Oregon

Publication Date

June 12, 2005

Start Date

June 12, 2005

End Date

June 15, 2005



Conference Session

College Engineering K-12 Outreach III

Page Count


Page Numbers

10.1378.1 - 10.1378.12



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Paper Authors

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Sarah Nation

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Leah Jamieson

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Jill Heinzen

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Carla Zoltowski

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Joy Krueger

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

University and Community Partnerships for Reaching Pre-College Students: The EPICS Model Joy Garton Krueger, William C. Oakes, Leah Jamieson, Carla Zoltowski Purdue University

Sarah Nation and Jill Heinzen Crane Naval Surface Warfare Center

Introduction Mathematics and science are creations of the human mind and, as such, are continuous enterprises1. Many young students possess the innate ability to think and reason mathematically2 and most children possess a level of curiosity about the world around them3 Yet, the commitment by the engineering and educational professions to ensure that these early engineering tendencies develop and are sustained throughout the P/K-12 learning experience has been primarily intermittent. These periodic and ad hoc efforts are insufficient. Needed educational change and consistency are necessary if the engineering profession is to overcome its challenges specifically in undergraduate enrollment numbers, recruitment of women and under- represented minorities, and the public perception (including the views of youth) of engineering and technology. There is interconnectivity among science, technology, and engineering that requires clarification and promotion. Science seeks to understand the natural world and requires new tools and discoveries; engineering uses scientific discoveries to create products and processes that meet society’s needs; technologies are the result of engineered designs created to solve societal needs and wants4 These common threads can be strengthened when educational solutions and opportunities for engagement are consistently, creatively, and thoughtfully applied.

In8, the Engineering Projects in Community Service (EPICS) Program at Purdue University was created to provide undergraduates with a real design experience within a service-learning context. EPICS teams perform their designs within four main areas of focus: 1.) Education and Outreach, 2.) Access and Abilities, 3.) Human Services, and 4.) Environment. Included within the realm of Education and Outreach is a concerted effort to focus on the integration of engineering within the P/K-12 community by unifying, over an extended period of time, the educational preparation of undergraduate engineering students with their pre-college cohorts; who are at the threshold of their technical curiosity, creativity, interest, and skill development. Under the guidance of faculty and industry advisors the results of this linkage have been systems that have a significant, lasting impact on community partners and the people they serve5,6 These types of pre-college engineering influences offer a vehicle for applying mathematics and science to students’ real world experiences, developing a sense of the creative aspects of engineering, and showing how working in teams contribute to achieving goals7.

Via formal and informal educational venues, the EPICS program serves the P/K-12 teachers, other educational professionals, students, and undergraduates (within and outside of engineering) to provide technical solutions for the community. It is the goal of the authors to specifically

“Proceedings of the 2005 American Society for Engineering Education Conference and Exposition Copyright c 2005, American Society for Engineering Education”

Nation, S., & Jamieson, L., & Heinzen, J., & Zoltowski, C., & Oakes, W., & Krueger, J. (2005, June), University And Community Partnerships For Reaching Pre College Students: The Epics Model Paper presented at 2005 Annual Conference, Portland, Oregon. 10.18260/1-2--15077

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