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Engineering Recruitment: The Crisis of the 21 st Century How to Identify and Propel High Potential Engineering Students Across Gender, Cultural, & Racial.

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Presentation on theme: "Engineering Recruitment: The Crisis of the 21 st Century How to Identify and Propel High Potential Engineering Students Across Gender, Cultural, & Racial."— Presentation transcript:

1 Engineering Recruitment: The Crisis of the 21 st Century How to Identify and Propel High Potential Engineering Students Across Gender, Cultural, & Racial Boundaries NSF SPIRIT Workshop 2006

2 The Crisis Engineering enrollment in US down by 20% since the 1980’s Since 1998, U.S. high-technology industries' imports exceed exports (aerospace, pharmaceuticals, office and computing equipment, communications equipment, and scientific instruments) China & India, populations over 1 billion, emerging high technology & intellectual property competitors India is #1 outsourcing destination for US companies “Many retirements from the U.S. S&E labor force are impending. “ “U.S. 15-year-olds scored below the international average on the 2003 Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA), which measures students' ability to apply scientific and mathematical concepts and skills” Collectively, African Americans, Hispanics, and American Indians/Alaskan Natives represent 10% of all college-educated persons employed in Science & Engineering Fields. Women represent approx. 50% of the population, but only 26% of those in Science & Engineering fields 11% of all engineers are women. Source: NSF Science & Engineering Indicators 2006

3 The Need “If the United States is to maintain its economic leadership and be able to sustain its share of high-technology jobs, it must prepare.” "The years between the present and 2020 offer engineering the opportunity to strengthen its leadership role in society and to define an engineering career as one of the most influential and valuable in society and one that is attractive for the best and the brightest," Source: The Engineer of 2020: Visions of Engineering in the New Century (2004) National Academy of Engineering (NAE)NAE

4 The Engineer of 2020: Visions of Engineering in the New Century (2004) National Academy of Engineering (NAE)NAE “The book finds that the next several decades will offer more opportunities for engineers, with exciting possibilities expected from nanotechnology, information technology, and bioengineering. Other engineering applications, such as transgenic food, technologies that affect personal privacy, and nuclear technologies, raise complex social and ethical challenges. Future engineers must be prepared to help the public consider and resolve these dilemmas along with challenges that will arise from new global competition, requiring thoughtful and concerted action if engineering in the United States is to retain its vibrancy and strength.”

5 A Call to Action – What Do We Do Now 1.Expose ALL students to Engineering Early. –Motivation for NSF ITEST 2.Identify students that possess High Potential for Engineering. –Identify & ascend above any gender, cultural, & racial boundaries. 3.Propel High Potential Engineering students toward an Engineering Career Path.

6 Expose All Students to Engineering What is engineering? Engineering is FUN, Interesting, Creative! –TekBots! Achieve a technically-literate population.

7 Identify students with High Potential for Engineering Why? –Junior High students of 2006 will be the Engineers of 2020! How? –Know the Core Qualities of a Student With High Engineering Potential Who fits the bill, really? –Boys that have it, Girls that have it –Cultural and Racial Factors

8 Questions to Answer How does the media influence a student’s perception of their own potential as an engineer? How does culture, racial background, family upbringing influence a student’s perception of their own potential as an engineer? Are all high potential engineers hands-on tinker-ers? Are all fearless and experimental in math and science class? How are girls different from boys in social, emotional, mental development at this age? How might these differences express themselves differently in a male/female high potential engineering student?

9 Core Qualities of a Student With High Engineering Potential High demonstrated ability for math and science Inquisitive –wants to understand “why” and “how” things work: –Kinesthetic – Hands-on learner, explorer –Visual – Uses vivid images to capture & hold ideas –Verbal/Aural – Captures ideas by Hearing & Talking –Reading/Writing – Intakes information in written form Creative & Imaginative Analytical Thinking & Problem Solving Ability

10 Lesson Plan Item (Applying Engineering Design Elements) What will you do to engage student populations that face boundaries to envisioning a career in engineering? –Girls, African American students, Latino students? –Other students? Observe & Record the impact of these and any unforeseen boundaries you discover along the way. Seek & Implement Solutions (Support at Fall Meetings). NSF Deliverable: SPIRIT Project Challenge –Can we DEMONSTRATE that activities developed with this project can show improvement in academic performance in girls and underrepresented students?

11 Some Ideas… Have class write a paper on “What is an Engineer”. Then, define engineer & dispel common stereotypes of “engineer”. Provide information about achievements and examples of a diverse group of engineers. Create class dynamics to empower all students, not just a certain group, to have confidence experimenting with technology. Expose students to engineers and/or engineering students they can easily relate to. –Videos –CEEN students –Guest Speakers

12 Propel High Potential Students toward an Engineering Career Path Engage parents! Encourage participation in all math & science classes, special teams & projects Encourage participation in all opportunities available: –Mentoring –College campus visits –Competitions –Tours of local industries (most involve applications of engineering!)

13 Students … Engineering … OUR FUTURE! Plant the seed. Nurture these students. Help to grow up the next generation of engineers for our country! Capture all of our resources – can afford to leave no one behind!

14 The Engineer of 2020 " What attributes will the engineer of 2020 have?" That engineer " will aspire to have the ingenuity of Lillian Gilbreth, the problem- solving capabilities of Gordon Moore, the scientific insight of Albert Einstein, the creativity of Pablo Picasso, the determination of the Wright brothers, the leadership abilities of Bill Gates, the conscience of Eleanor Roosevelt, the vision of Martin Luther King and the curiosity and wonder of our grandchildren." Source:

15 Resources Try Engineering: Life of An Engineer (8 Profiles of Real Engineers) Women In Science – 16 Historical Profiles National Society of Black Engineers (NSBE) – Pre- College Initiative The Society of Women Engineers (SWE) PAGE&nodeId=5 The Society of Hispanic Professional Engineers SHPE.org SHPE.org

16 Credits Created by: Alisa N. Gilmore, P.E. July 20, 2006.


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