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Using Hands On Learning In An After School Engineering Program To Promote Stem Careers To High School Students

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2009 Annual Conference & Exposition


Austin, Texas

Publication Date

June 14, 2009

Start Date

June 14, 2009

End Date

June 17, 2009



Conference Session

Attracting Young Minds: Part II

Tagged Division

Minorities in Engineering

Page Count


Page Numbers

14.1324.1 - 14.1324.40



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Paper Authors

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Jacqueline Fairley Georgia Institute of Technology

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Adrianne Prysock Georgia Institute of Technology

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Akibi Archer Georgia Institute of Technology

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

Using Hands-On Learning in an After-School Engineering Program to Promote STEM Careers to High School Students


Pre-college exposure to Science Technology Engineering and Math (STEM) concepts can generate enthusiasm and encourage students to pursue careers in these fields. This work describes an approach to teach STEM concepts to minority high school students via hands on activities and seminars in an after-school program at Tri-Cities High School located in East Point, Georgia. The primary objective of this after-school program is to use hands on activities and seminars to stimulate interest in STEM fields and invoke college pursuits. This paper discusses the activities and seminars conducted during the 6th programmatic year. The weekly activities and seminars promote skills in four key areas: academic excellence, leadership, technical/professional development, and teamwork.

Academic excellence was promoted by beginning each meeting with a Scholastic Aptitude Test (SAT) math question and participation in a math and science quiz bowl with high school teams from six different states. Leadership skills were gained through constructing and implementing Rocket Building workshops targeted to middle school students at a regional engineering conference. Technical skill development was fostered via hands-on STEM activities that included, constructing alarm systems, designing bio- diesel devices, egg drop design competitions, and miniature boat building. Professional development was promoted through a public speaking seminar, and a college tour which included an admissions seminar, college engineering club seminar, and engineering and science research lab presentations. All activities were established to encourage collaboration and enhance teamwork skills.

Details on the procedures used to implement each activity and seminar are included in this work. Suggestions on pre and post program assessment methods to measure student confidence and interest in STEM related careers are discussed. Projected assessment techniques seek to track the effectiveness of the four key areas: academic excellence, leadership, technical/professional development and teamwork in the promotion of STEM career interest and pursuits amongst minority pre-college student participants.

Fairley, J., & Prysock, A., & Archer, A. (2009, June), Using Hands On Learning In An After School Engineering Program To Promote Stem Careers To High School Students Paper presented at 2009 Annual Conference & Exposition, Austin, Texas. 10.18260/1-2--5458

ASEE holds the copyright on this document. It may be read by the public free of charge. Authors may archive their work on personal websites or in institutional repositories with the following citation: © 2009 American Society for Engineering Education. Other scholars may excerpt or quote from these materials with the same citation. When excerpting or quoting from Conference Proceedings, authors should, in addition to noting the ASEE copyright, list all the original authors and their institutions and name the host city of the conference. - Last updated April 1, 2015