2004;130:95-108. doi: 10.1061/(ASCE)1052-3928(2004)130:2(95).
Understanding K-12 engineering outreach programs.
Jeffers A.T., Safferman A.G., Safferman S.I.
The United States relies on technology. To continue the development of new and the expansion of existing technologies requires a strong background in science, math, and engineering. Because students are falling behind in these areas, many universities are attempting to reverse this trend and attract more students to their engineering programs through outreach programs. These outreach efforts can take a variety of forms, with the simplest being the development of classroom and web-based materials. Outreach programs can also include professional development programs, engineering contests, on-campus activities, activities at schools, and the sponsorship of teaching fellows and service learning programs. Programs can be directed at preservice teachers, teachers, and/or students as well as specific groups such as females or minorities. The programs may occur throughout the school year or during summer vacations. Personnel presenting the outreach programs can include older K-12 students, teachers, college students, and/or university professors. Regardless of the mechanism, each outreach program has one common goal, to increase the interest that K-12 students have for math and science and, thus, engineering.