Girls Experiencing Engineering: Evolution, Impact, and Resources


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Girls Experiencing Engineering presented by Stephanie Ivey of the University of Memphis and Shelli Brasher of Collierville High School at the 2013 Memphis STEM Leadership Academy Feb. 18, 2013

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  • Important to note: more than 30% of GEE participants are repeat attendees; 90% would recommend to a friend; 85% minority students; ~25% of graduates (traceable) pursuing STEM fields
  • Although students report that friends are not influential in their decision to pursue a major/career, mentors and professionals in engineering fields are very influential. Thus, it is very important to make sure that a wide variety of mentors/speakers in terms of engineering disciplines as well as race/ethnicity are involved in outreach programs so that students are able to identify with someone. *Primarily engineering in GEE, but a few other STEM; Wooddale focuses on transportation professionals, and includes a wide variety of STEM disciplines.
  • Although we have made headway from this standpoint with our parent orientation sessions, we still do not see they type of positive response we would expect regarding whether or not students believe their parents would support their decision to pursue an engineering career. More research is needed to determine factors affecting this perception to identify methods to address this issue.
  • Includes GEE and TREC and WoodaleGEE: 944 students; over 300 teachers; 160 mentorsTrec: students 86; teachers 18 Wooddale: 30 students; 2 teachers; 6 mentors
  • Girls Experiencing Engineering: Evolution, Impact, and Resources

    1. 1. Girls Experiencing Engineering: Evolution, Impact, and Resources Stephanie Ivey, PhD Shelli BrasherDepartment of Civil Engineering Collierville High School The University of Memphis Shelby County Schools
    2. 2. Agenda• Background• Program Evolution• Lessons Learned• Program Impact• Program Resources• 2013 Opportunities
    3. 3. Background• Co-educational programs since 1998• CN Youth Transportation Institute: 2004-2006• Girls Experiencing Engineering: 2004-2013 – Funded by Women’s Foundation for a Greater Memphis and IFTI – Designed to make young women aware of career opportunities in engineering – Includes professional development for STEM teachers
    4. 4. Program Evolution• 2004: GEE began targeting middle school girls.• 2005: Program expanded to include high-school students as participants and peer mentoring.• 2007: A new high school program week (focus session) was developed and leadership training was added.• 2008: A brief orientation session for parents was introduced and educational consultants were included to develop lesson plans.• 2011: PD workshop series developed for local school systems from program activities.• In 2012, more formalized parent outreach became a high priority.
    5. 5. Program Evolution• 2010: Replication of GEE program begins with TRansportation Engineering Careers (TREC)• 2012: Garret A Morgan Technology and Transportation Program Grant with Wooddale High School• 2012: West TN STEM Hub
    6. 6. Lessons Learned• Meaningful hands-on activities help students understand the connection between the simplified problems they are solving and those that STEM professionals face.• The most important messages for us to get across to students are that STEM affords a wide variety of career options, STEM professionals must be creative problem solvers, and that they make a difference in our society.• High school and college mentors, along with professionals who speak to participants about their careers are critical for influencing students to consider STEM majors.
    7. 7. Lessons Learned• Parents continue to be the most influential factor in students’ decisions to pursue particular majors/careers.• Providing an opportunity for repeat participation through new programming is essential to sustaining interest in STEM and encouraging students to pursue STEM majors in college.• Maintaining contact with program participants over many years is difficult, but critical for achieving significant impact.
    8. 8. Impact Summary• To date: – 1060 student participants (2004-2012) • 85% of participants are African-American • Nearly 1/3 of students are repeat participants – 300 math/science teachers – 160 high school and college mentors – ~25% of previous participants who have graduated now enrolled in STEM majors in college*
    9. 9. Program Resources• Livebinders: – r_edit?id=413629
    10. 10. 2013 Program Opportunities• Registration opens March 15 – June 3-7 – General Engineering (high school) – June 10-14 – General Engineering (middle school) – June 17-21 – Transportation Engineering (high school)* – June 24-28 – Biomedical Engineering * – Academic year STEM workshops for teachers
    11. 11. Questions?