Virtual On line
June 22, 2020
June 22, 2020
June 26, 2021
Minorities in Engineering
While the recruitment and retention of underrepresented groups in engineering programs is an ongoing goal at most universities, an additional question remains: How do we educate all our students about the importance of increasing the diversity in our fields? The development of a new generation of engineering graduates that is more conscientious of the need for diverse thinking and teams is critical for retaining members of these underrepresented populations outside of a university setting and developing a stronger and more effective engineering workforce. (name of school) is performing NSF-funded research to help analyze the use of classroom interventions to help educate our students about these topics. In this project two engineering courses, Thermodynamics I and Embedded Systems, integrated a specific classroom activity that focused on designing a product that had implications for gender or culture. In the Thermodynamics course students were asked to work in teams to discuss the current design of a hairdryer and pitch potential new design features. A hairdryer was selected because it serves as an excellent example of energy balance and transfer but is also overwhelmingly used by female consumers versus male. Teams were formed in order to have three different compositions: all-female, all-male, or co-ed. For the Embedded Systems project students performed a similar activity but focused on the design of a musical instrument digital interface (MIDI) controller. The controller was used because one’s taste in music can be influenced greatly by their culture. The teams were comprised of students with different backgrounds, including international students from several different countries. In both courses, once the teams had gone through the activity, there was a reflection session where they were asked questions about their experience and had an overall discussion of the design process and how the makeup of their teams may have made a difference. Students were also asked to write a reflection piece about their experience during the activity and the concept of diverse teams in general. These reflection pieces were analyzed to highlight common language, themes, in order to analyze the outcomes based on the attributes of students with professional inclusive identities. Additionally, students were asked to complete surveys at the beginning of the course and after they completed the interventional activity. These surveys looked at the students’ opinions/feelings about a broad range of topics including, their sense of belonging on a university level, their engineering identity, diversity topics, climate, the activity they performed, and more. This paper will discuss the results of the reflection analysis and surveys, as well as an overall analysis of the activities and changes for future implementations based on this pilot experience.
Roszelle, B. N., & DeLyser, R. R., & Martins, G., & Paguyo, C. (2020, June), Using Classroom Activities to Integrate Concepts of Diverse Thinking and Teaming into Engineering Design (Experience) Paper presented at 2020 ASEE Virtual Annual Conference Content Access, Virtual On line . 10.18260/1-2--35455
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