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1 Initiative Goal: To substantially increase the number of high school graduates selecting engineering as a career in the State of Alabama. The Engineering.

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Presentation on theme: "1 Initiative Goal: To substantially increase the number of high school graduates selecting engineering as a career in the State of Alabama. The Engineering."— Presentation transcript:

1 1 Initiative Goal: To substantially increase the number of high school graduates selecting engineering as a career in the State of Alabama. The Engineering Academy Initiative will provide a rigorous academic curriculum emphasizing engineering activities from the 9 th grade to the 12 th grade. Engineering Academy Initiative for Alabama Dr. Jorge I. Auñón Dean of Engineering University of Alabama in Huntsville

2 2 The State of Alabama

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9 9 So in 2003, roughly 63% of HS graduates were enrolled in a college (4-year or 2-year)

10 10 Based on the statistics for Alabama we have: 100 students entered 9th grade. 60 students completed the 12th grade. 36 students entered college. 23 were still enrolled in college in their sophomore year. 14 actually obtain a college degree (any degree)....and in the context of the number of students receiving a HS diploma in Alabama, we can say the following: ►Four years ago 70,000 students began the 9th grade. ►This past May roughly 42,000 (~60%) completed HS. ►~ 25,000 (~36%) will enter college. ►~16,000 (~23%) return for their sophomore year. ►~ 9,800 (~14%) will obtain a college degree (any degree)

11 11 National Statistics

12 12 National Science Foundation statistics

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14 14 SHIFT HAPPENS More than 50% of awarded PhDs in the US are now awarded to Nonresident aliens

15 Note: CS and non-engineering degrees excluded Totals A&M’s number was 68 BS

16 16 Demand vs. Supply? Do we need more engineers? Nationwide

17 17 Engineering Academy Initiative for Alabama Initiative Goal: To substantially increase the number of high school graduates selecting engineering as a career in the State of Alabama. The Engineering Academy Initiative will provide a rigorous academic curriculum emphasizing engineering activities from the 9 th grade to the 12 th grade. The students that we impact in the 9 th grade this fall semester will be ready to enter your companies as engineers in 2017.

18 18 A State wide task force was created to explore issues involved with the Engineering Academy Initiative for Alabama with the following members: ► Alabama State Department of Education (Superintendent, Deputy Superintendent, Director of Classroom Improvement) ► Auburn University (President’s Office) ► University of Alabama System (Chancellor’s Office) ► Engineering Deans of all Seven Alabama Colleges of Engineering ► AMSTEC

19 19 Initial funding: A commitment for a total of $100,000 was made by the State Department of Education, Auburn University, and the University of Alabama System. This commitment was made for the FY and the for the FY (A total of $200,000)

20 20 AMSTEC-EAIA An Information Seeking & Sharing Meeting was held on November, 2006 with various interested participants in order to ascertain “Common Threads of Agreement” Participants Included: State Department of Education: Superintendent, Deputy Superintendent, Director of Classroom Improvement Engineering Deans Representing all Seven Alabama Schools of Engineering The University of Alabama System Office AMSTEC High Schools: Administrators and Lead Teachers

21 21 Some of the suggestions: Design an academically rigorous course of study with engineering topics to expose HS students to the concepts of engineering Build and expand the partnerships of: K-12 – higher education – business/industry Define “the engineering academy concept” and what the concept means for a HS Explore recurring funding options Work closely with colleges of engineering in the state Identify best practice models

22 22 One of the first academically rigorous course of study suitable for HS that was explored was the Infinity Project. The Infinity Project Concept Turns a standard PC into an engineering design platform Supports hundreds of engineering design projects Low-cost kit manufactured by National Instruments includes: –Texas Instruments DSP technology –LabVIEW Software –Other peripherals

23 23 Sample Design Experiments: Build digital musical instruments –Electric piano and guitar Create special effects for movies Analyze speech waveforms (compute their spectral density) Secretly encode messages between students Turn a PC into a cell phone

24 24 Digital Signal Processing Board

25 25 Infinity Kit Very sophisticated TI Digital Signal Processing Board Webcam The cost of the Infinity Kit (not including a computer) is $400. One kit and one computer are needed for every 2 students. Lab Manual ~$22. Textbook ~$62 (one per student). This price includes LabVIEW. Digital Signal Processing Board

26 26 Spectral density of the waveform Note the block diagrams performing different functions. The students are able to further expand the blocks within the diagram to better comprehend the mathematics behind them. Example of a digital experiment conducted by a HS student

27 27 Cost? Assume there are 24 students in the 12 th grade of HS. The total cost (including training for 2 teachers at a remote location) is roughly ~$10,000 for the Infinity Project (kits, textbooks, workbooks). The cost of a minimal configuration computer for the Infinity Project is $880. So the cost for 13 computers (2 students per computer and kit) is roughly $12,000. So it is possible to equip one HS class for 24 students for about $22,000 (including computers). This project is capable of providing an excellent engineering experience for students in the 11 th or 12 th grade of HS.

28 28 Following this meeting and other meetings of the Task Force, a memorandum was sent (March 2007) by State Superintendent of Education, Mr. Joe Morton to all city and county superintendents of the state. The memorandum was a Request for Application to implement the Engineering Academies. Sixteen HSs responded from throughout the state. They all were deemed worthy of funding. Eight of the HSs came from north Alabama and the other 8 from the rest of the state.

29 29 The HSs were to receive various amounts of funding, with some starting the Infinity Project this fall and some in the spring. Other HSs chose their own strategies and were also funded.

30 30 The sixteen Alabama High Schools participating in this Initiative and their Colleges of Engineering “partners”: University of South Alabama: Davidson High School Foley High School Auburn University:Opelika High School Russell County High School Tuskegee University:Pike County High School Tallassee High School The University of Alabama: Sumter County High School UAB: Gardendale High School A&M University Hazel Green High School Sparkman High School and Lee High School Athens High School UAH Bob Jones High School Buckhorn High School Austin High School Decatur High School North Alabama

31 31 The following are only my opinions: 1.We should explore a new type of engineering curriculum for use in conjunction with the Infinity Project (Engineering Robotics – next page). The Infinity Project is being used this year in the 12 th grade, then next August we would have a new 12 th grade with the Infinity Project and the 11 th grade with a new program. 2. Obtain funding to continue the original 16 HSs 3. Seek recurring funds from the State 4. Issue another request by Superintendent Morton to the rest of the HSs in Alabama in order to encourage other HSs to participate in this project. What is next for the Initiative?

32 32 Engineering Robotics

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34 34 Is there a problem in Alabama? Graduation rate from HS (60%) HS students entering College (36%) Percent of students that eventually get a degree (13%) (any degree) Retention in engineering disciplines (50%) (50% of all students beginning engineering get a degree in engineering) “Math – the giant killer” What can we do to help? Is there a problem? “Throw money at the problem and it will go away...” --- sometimes money helps ---

35 35 Who should be involved in the Initiative? ►Students: Stimulate student’s interest in careers in engineering. ►Parents: Without parental support and encouragement, the Initiative will not succeed. ►Teachers: They understand the school culture, pedagogy and the students. They are the front line.... continued

36 36 ► Industry: →Visits to the HSs by young engineers →Adopt HS - one, two or more? →Form (a functioning) Advisory Board (s) with the HSs and some of the people involved in the initiative →Help with money →Visits to industrial sites ►University Faculty: →Help with requirements needed to succeed in engineering →Help and encourage teachers and students →Bring HS students into selected classrooms →Special Saturday sessions for HS students →Keep up with the technology

37 37 QUESTIONS?


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