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Where The Girls Are: Applying An Integrated Marketing Approach To Attract Girls Into Engineering Programs

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Conference

2006 Annual Conference & Exposition

Location

Chicago, Illinois

Publication Date

June 18, 2006

Start Date

June 18, 2006

End Date

June 21, 2006

ISSN

2153-5965

Conference Session

K-12 Programs for Recruiting Women

Tagged Division

Women in Engineering

Page Count

12

Page Numbers

11.1448.1 - 11.1448.12

DOI

10.18260/1-2--667

Permanent URL

https://peer.asee.org/667

Download Count

126

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Paper Authors

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Pat Pyke Boise State University

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Patricia Pyke is the Director of Special Programs for the College of Engineering at Boise State University. She oversees projects in freshman experience, retention, math support, mentoring, and women’s programs. She earned a B.S.E. degree in Mechanical Engineering from Duke University and a Master’s degree in journalism from the University of California at Berkeley.

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Leandra Aburusa-Lete Boise State University

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Leandra Aburusa-Lete is the Student Support Coordinator for the College of Engineering at Boise State University. She earned a B.S. degree in Human Resource Management from the University of Idaho, Moscow, Idaho 1993.

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Christa Budinoff Visioneering LLC

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Christa Budinoff founded Visioneering LLC in 1998 to continue mechanical engineering support for NASA projects. She is currently providing engineering, computer animation, and graphic art for flight projects at NASA Goddard Space Flight Center. She earned a B.S. degree in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Maryland, College Park in 1994.

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Janet Hampikian is the Associate Dean for Academic Affairs at Boise State University and a Professor in the Materials Science and Engineering Department. Janet received her Ph.D. in Materials Science, her M.S. in Metallurgy and her B.S. in Chemical Engineering from the University of Connecticut. Her educational research interests include freshmen engineering programs, and recruitment and retention issues in engineering.

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Michael Luque Boise School District

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Michael Luque is initiator of the Boise science and technology girls program that evolved into e-Girls. He retired in 2005 from the Boise School District after teaching for 29 years. He taught General Biology, A+ Computer Certification, and Web Design.

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Cheryl Schrader Boise State University

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Cheryl B. Schrader is Dean of the College of Engineering and Professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering at Boise State University. Dean Schrader has an extensive record of publications and sponsored research in the systems, control and engineering education fields. She recently received the Presidential Award for Excellence in Science, Mathematics and Engineering Mentoring from the White House for an enduring, strong, and personal commitment to underrepresented engineering students and faculty.

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Michelle Taylor Micron Technology, Inc.

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Michelle Clement Taylor has thirteen years of teaching experience that complements her manufacturing training background. She graduated from the University of Montana in 1987 with a Bachelor’s degree in Secondary Education with an emphasis in biology and a Bachelor's in Home Economics Education. She taught in several schools before starting employment with Micron Technology as a Training Specialist and is now in the K-12 outreach.

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

Where the Girls Are: Applying an Integrated Marketing Approach to Attract Girls into Engineering Programs Abstract

The steady national decline in women engineering students persists despite a plethora of programs and camps at engineering colleges around the country aimed at attracting girls into engineering and technical fields.1 Discussions about this decline often suggest that influential cultural, media and marketing images may affect girls’ career choices in ways that steer girls in directions other than engineering. When planning the first-ever overnight engineering camp for high school girls hosted at Boise State University, the planning team decided to embrace marketing methods to create realistic images about engineering that are relevant to the lives of girls. The planning team represented a partnership among Micron Technology, the southwest Idaho Society of Women Engineers section, Boise public school staff, and Boise State University faculty, staff and graduate students. The team defined four messages that formed the foundation for curriculum development and communications with prospective participants: 1) Engineers help the world; 2) Engineers think creatively; 3) Engineers enjoy working with other people; and 4) Engineers earn a good living. Demand for the “e-Girls” camp far exceeded expectations, and student evaluations at the end of the program indicated success at affecting the girls’ understanding, perceptions and interest about engineering careers. The program will continue in 2006.

Background on Engineering Outreach Programs for Girls and Women

In 1993, the National Science Foundation launched the Program for Women and Girls to broaden girls’ and women’s participation in science, technology, engineering and math.2 Over the next decade more than 250 projects were funded nationwide by this NSF program, including innovative endeavors such as Shampoos Etc!, a science and chemistry exploration adventure at State University of New York, Binghampton, and Bring Your Mother to Engineering School at California State University, Los Angeles. NSF reported that these and other creative programs engaged girls and women through hands-on activities, teamwork, role modeling, and other methods.3

These excellent NSF supported programs and other engineering and science programs geared toward girls and women have not, however, been able to prevent the decline in the number of young women choosing to pursue engineering professions. The United States has seen a steady drop in the percentage of women engineering students. As a percentage of the freshman engineering class, female enrollment declined from 19.9 percent in 1996 to 16.3 percent in 2004. Figure 1 shows the changes in freshman and total female enrollment percentages in U.S. engineering colleges. 4,5 Business leaders in the United States have warned that a shortage of skilled technology workers will threaten the nation’s ability to compete in the global marketplace, and that the lack of women and minorities in technology fields amplifies the shortage.6

So why are girls, especially those who are academically prepared and capable, not enrolling in engineering programs? That question was the starting point in 2004 for a new national initiative,

Pyke, P., & Aburusa-Lete, L., & Budinoff, C., & Callahan, J., & Luque, M., & Schrader, C., & Taylor, M. (2006, June), Where The Girls Are: Applying An Integrated Marketing Approach To Attract Girls Into Engineering Programs Paper presented at 2006 Annual Conference & Exposition, Chicago, Illinois. 10.18260/1-2--667

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