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Strategies to Identify and Propel High Potential Engineering Students Towards a Career in Engineering.

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Presentation on theme: "Strategies to Identify and Propel High Potential Engineering Students Towards a Career in Engineering."— Presentation transcript:

1 Strategies to Identify and Propel High Potential Engineering Students Towards a Career in Engineering

2  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  “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 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 The survey, of parents as well as youths, aimed to provide a better understanding about the perceptions of selecting an engineering career in light of a troubling shortage, which will reach 70,000 by 2010, according to an estimate by the National Science Foundation.  A Harris Interactive survey conducted on behalf of the American Society for Quality indicated that 85% of youth, ages 8 to 17, say they are not interested in a future engineering career for a variety of reasons.American Society for Quality  Top reasons:  44% - Don’t know much about engineering  30% - Engineering is not as exciting as other careers  21% - Not confident in math/science ability  Yet 17% ranked science & 21% ranked math as favorite subjects! Source: 06/22/2009

6 1. Expose ALL students to Engineering Early. ◦ Motivation for NSF ITEST / CEENBots 2. Identify students that possess High Potential for Engineering. 3. Propel High Potential Engineering students toward an Engineering Career Path.

7  Limited view of what an “engineer” looks like  Gender-based conceptions  Racial/Ethnic Group perceptions  Economic Factors  Lack of exposure to “what is engineering?”, or “it’s too hard”  Belief that “it’s not achievable for me”  Others you can think of?

8  What is engineering?  Engineering is FUN, Interesting, Creative! ◦ CEENBots ◦ Hands-on Activities  Achieve a technically-literate population.

9  Why? ◦ Junior high students of 2009 will be the Engineers of 2020!  How? ◦ Do you 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 Ethnic Factors

10  To what extent does media influence a student’s perception of their own potential as an engineer?  How does culture, ethnic 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? ◦ If not, how could these qualities be nurtured and encouraged?  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?

11  Inquisitive –wants to understand “why” and “how” things work: ◦ Tinkerer: Hands-on learner, explorer –take it apart (Kinesthetic Learner) ◦ Thinker: Seeks abstract, conceptual or mathematical understanding of how it works (Visual, Verbal/Aural, or Reading/Writing Learner)  Creativity  Analytical Thinking & Problem Solving  Ability in and/or strong interest in math and science

12  Team environment - Engineers work as a team to solve problems for all of humanity.  Diverse engineers create powerful teams, bringing different strengths, perspectives, and styles of approach to complex issues.  “Woman are integrators, team builders, experts in parallel processing, handling many things at once…” 1  Together, diverse engineering teams are the strength our country needs to successfully meet and solve the complex human needs of the next century. 1 -Barriers and Enablers for Women in Engineering (From an article by National Academy of Engineers Vice President Sheila E. Widnall, April 2000)

13  Limited view of what an “engineer” looks like  Gender-based conceptions  Racial/Ethnic Group perceptions  Economic Factors  Lack of exposure to “what is engineering?”, or “it’s too hard”  Belief that “it’s not achievable for me”  A Personal Perspective

14 Spelman College is a private, historically Black all women’s college founded in 1881 in Atlanta, GA The SpelBots with Advisor Dr. Andrew Williams  In 2005, the ONLY undergraduate team in the US to qualify to compete in the International RoboCup Four- Legged Soccer Competition in Osaka, Japan.  The first all-women and African American undergraduate team to compete in RoboCup in Osaka, Japan (2005) and Bremen, Germany (2006).  In 2007, earned 2nd place in the RoboCup 2007 Atlanta Technical Challenge Passing Challenge event.  SpelBots are ranked 7th in the world in the Four-legged Technical Challenge RoboCup 2007

15 Lunar Living “Crew comforts” are of utmost importance to NASA engineer Dr. Robert Howard Jr., who designs lunar living quarters.  “…if aerospace engineer Robert Howard Jr., age 36, is successful, 21st-century settlers will live in a dwelling that might resemble an oversized balloon or soup can. As manager of the "habitability design center" at NASA's Johnson Space Center in Houston, Howard is helping to create a dwelling that could comfortably house four people on the moon for at least half a year.” Robert Howard Jr.NASA's Johnson Space Center Houston lunar-living.html#

16  What will you do to engage student populations that face barriers to envisioning a career in engineering? ◦ Girls, African American students, Latino students? ◦ Your predominate student population?  What will you do to engage their participation in your planned CEENBot activities?  In what ways will you identify the high potential engineering students in your sphere of influence?

17  Observe & Record the impact of your action items.  Record any unforeseen boundaries you discover along the way.  Seek & Implement Solutions - Resource List  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?

18  Society of Women Engineers (SWE) ◦ Website for pre-college girls:  National Society of Black Engineers (NSBE) ◦ Website for pre-college:  The Society of Mexican American Engineers and Scientists (MAES) ◦ Website:  Society of Hispanic Professional Engineers ◦ Website:

19  Achieving Gender Equity in Science Classrooms  e_College/homepginfo/equity/ ml#contents e_College/homepginfo/equity/ ml#contents  Try Engineering: Life of An Engineer (8 Profiles of Real Engineers)  Women In Science – 16 Historical Profiles  Barriers and Enablers for Women in Engineering (National Academy of Engineers) NAEW-4STKTF?OpenDocument NAEW-4STKTF?OpenDocument  Dr. Calvin Mackie of Channel Zero zro.html zro.html

20 Plant the seed. Nurture the vision. Capture all of our resources … Grow up the next generation of engineers for our country!

21  " 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:

22  Created by: Alisa N. Gilmore, P.E., University of Nebraska-Lincoln, NSF SPIRIT, July 2006  Updated July 2007, July 2008, & June 2009  Comments/Feedback to:

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