K-12 Engineering Outreach Programs

Posted on June 21, 2006  Comments (1)

Interview, K12 Summer Outreach Programs Interview of Dr. Andrew Gerhart, author of K12 Summer Outreach Programs”“Curriculum Comparisons Between Ages, Minorities, and Genders, by Sean Stickle.

I will point out that I, John Hunter, work for ASEE as an Information Technology Program Manager: my work on this blog is not associated with ASEE and the opinions I express are mine and not those of ASEE. This interview was done at the ASEE annual conference. The paper was an award winning paper from the ASEE conference last year. This paper and interview provide some good information for teachers interested in introducing engineering education to k-12 students.

Abstract of the paper:

Ensuring that the level of the material presented/used for a K-12 program is not too easy or too advanced can be a challenge to the instructor. Also ensuring that the material will be of interest to a variety of students (i.e., minorities, females, etc.) can be a challenge. Lawrence Technological University has two outreach programs each summer. One program, called the Summer Science Institute, is for high school juniors and seniors. The other program, called Summer Odyssey, is for middle school students.

Both programs explain what engineers are, explain what engineers do, and promote problem solving skills. The students also experience various disciplines (or sub-disciplines) of engineering through a combination of presentations, laboratory experiences, and design work. In other words, much of the same material and activities are used for both programs.

Although neither of these programs are specifically for minorities or women, a large portion of the students are female and approximately half are minorities. A review of the material/activities for the summer of 2004 is presented. In addition, in the summer of 2004, the students were surveyed to determine if the material was at the appropriate level, which activities were most valuable/useful, if certain activities appealed more for women, and if certain activities appealed more to minorities. These survey results and more are presented.

Sean is blogging the ASEE conference this year and I enjoy the blog and not just because he mentions me a couple times: Statistics for Experimenters, Represent! and Registration, Sunday Morning. More information on Statistics for Experimenters.

One Response to “K-12 Engineering Outreach Programs”

  1. Curious Cat Science and Engineering Blog » Middle School Engineers
    September 15th, 2006 @ 5:21 pm

    […] on… by curiouscat   Tags: Engineering, K-12, Students, quote   Permalink to: Middle School Engineers if (minute > 20){ } else { } […]

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