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Using Western Kentucky University Swe Members In The Recruitment Of Middle School Girls

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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

Emerging Trends in Engineering Education Poster Session

Page Count


Page Numbers

10.1437.1 - 10.1437.6



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Paper Authors

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Stacy Wilson

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

Using Western Kentucky University SWE Members in the Recruitment of Middle School Girls Stacy S. Wilson, Elizabeth L. Shoenfelt Western Kentucky University


For the past three years, the Ogden College of Science and Engineering has hosted a Girls in Science Day. This program is a day long event in which middle school girls are invited on campus to participate in a variety of hands-on engineering and science activities. Typically, the classes are taught by WKU faculty using WKU students as assistants. This past year the WKU SWE members taught two different engineering classes for the middle school students. This paper will describe the classes presented by the SWE members and their impact on WKU Girls in Science Day. Also, the format of the GIS day will be discussed and assessment of the past two years will be presented in this paper.

Girls in Science Day

Girls in Science (GIS) Day was developed as an outreach activity by the faculty in the Ogden College of Science and Engineering at WKU as a way to increase awareness of young women of scientific careers.1 The event has been held for the past three years on the WKU campus. Many young girls are not aware of potential careers in science and engineering. The program gives the girls opportunities to do fun hands-on projects with WKU science and engineering faculty in hopes of creating interest in the science field. The first year 49 girls attended, 81 girls attended the second year and 108 girls attended last year. GIS Day consists of morning and afternoon sessions. During the morning session, the girls attend three forty-five minutes classes that they chose from a list of seven to ten classes. These classes cover a broad spectrum of scientific and engineering interests. The classes have included: Learn How to Make a Polymers; Emergency Fish Kill; Sport Psychology; Dirt Can Take Care of Your Dirty Work; Books, Stars, and Geometric Connections; the Art and Math of Tesselations; Scientific Cellebration; Exploring LEGO Robots; Crime Scene Investigation; Electricity and Magnetism; Race Car Construction; Bottle Your Own Genes; and Physics of Musical Instruments. Each class has ten to fifteen girls. The afternoon session is a team competition. The girls are put on two to three person teams and given an engineering problem to solve with limited resources. Each participant was charged a nominal fee of $5.00 for the entire GIS experience. Scholarships were available for any interested girl who could not afford the fee.

Using SWE Members as GIS Instructors

This year, WKU Society of Women Engineer members were recruited to teach two classes at GIS. It was hoped that the SWE members would be excellent role models for the middle school girls. The SWE members taught two classes described below.

Wilson, S. (2005, June), Using Western Kentucky University Swe Members In The Recruitment Of Middle School Girls Paper presented at 2005 Annual Conference, Portland, Oregon. 10.18260/1-2--15129

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