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Work-in-Progress: Moving from Volunteering to Mentoring K12 Students: What Does It Take?

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2015 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition


Seattle, Washington

Publication Date

June 14, 2015

Start Date

June 14, 2015

End Date

June 17, 2015





Conference Session

K-12 & Pre- College Engineering Division Poster Session

Tagged Division

K-12 & Pre-College Engineering

Tagged Topic


Page Count


Page Numbers

26.1769.1 - 26.1769.7



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Paper Authors


Lawrence E. Whitman Wichita State University

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Lawrence Whitman, Ph.D., is professor of Industrial Engineering at Wichita State University. He received his B.S. and M.S. degrees from Oklahoma State University and a Ph.D. in industrial engineering from the University of Texas at Arlington. He has been the Kansas Affiliate Director for PLTW since 2007 and is active in promoting STEM careers and graduates in Kansas. He is Chair of the International Federation for Automated Control Technical Committee (TC) 5.3 on Enterprise Integration and Networking. His research interests are in enterprise engineering, engineering education, and lean manufacturing. He spent 10 years in the aerospace industry as a practicing Industrial Engineer.

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Alex Petersen STEMpact2020

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Christopher D Wyant Wichita East High School

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Work-in-Progress: Moving from volunteering to mentoring K12 students: What does it take?Engaging minority and underrepresented students in STEM fields in high school is notdifficult, but providing the student with long-term outlooks in STEM fields in which thestudents can see themselves is very difficult. Most students do not know anyone who iscurrently in a STEM career. STEM professionals volunteer at a good rate, but do notserve as mentors as frequently as those in other professions. A definite key to closing theSTEM graduate gap is enabling youth to view themselves in a STEM career. Mentoringhelps the student bridge the gap between where they are in high school and the wherethey see themselves in the future. The guidance provided by a mentor through a student’ssecondary academic career and transition into a post-secondary setting is critical tominority and underrepresented students due to the lack of this guidance in their socialcircle.High impact STEM mentoring is needed for mentors to have a lasting impact on ournation. This paper will focus on converting STEM professional volunteers into roles asmentors. This paper will describe efforts to increase the number of mentors in a mid-sized urban community. The paper will discuss the levels of commitment and the level ofintensity of desired by the mentors. Practical recommendations for encouraging STEMvolunteers to mentors will also be presented.

Whitman, L. E., & Petersen, A., & Wyant, C. D. (2015, June), Work-in-Progress: Moving from Volunteering to Mentoring K12 Students: What Does It Take? Paper presented at 2015 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, Seattle, Washington. 10.18260/p.25105

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