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Catalyzing partnerships for developing STEM outreach programs

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  1. Catalyzing partnerships for developing STEM outreach programs Lynford Goddard NSF Noyce Conference May 25, 2012

  2. How did you develop a love for STEM?

  3. Outline • ChicTech • Saturday program for high school girls • Girls Learning Electrical Engineering (GLEE) • 1 week summer camp for high school girls • Brain Fitness Fridays (BFFs) • 4 Friday program for K-8 students • Illinois Summer Academy • 3 day program for high school students • Principles of Experimental Research • Class for senior undergrads and new grad students

  4. Chic Tech • CS and ECE students and faculty organized a Saturday workshop for local high school girls in fall 2009 • Modeled after the very successful UIUC Saturday Physics for Everyone (SPE) program • Put together a good list of presenters and activities • Sent program flyers to local teachers and counselors • No high school students showed up! • Lessons learned: • Not all outreach projects will be successful • New programs must have a strong partnership with the schools for recruiting • Participants should register in advance

  5. GLEE Camp Girls Learning Electrical Engineering Among all engineering fields, EE has one of the largest gender gaps (ASEE reports only 11.5% of EE degrees nationwide were awarded to women in 2009) Partnered with the existing and highly successful Girls’ Adventures in Math, Engineering, and Science (GAMES) program for 6th - 9th grade girls to develop a new EE program in 2010 for girls entering 10th - 11th grade Explores several fields in EE: electronics, circuits, power and energy, signal processing, electromagnetics, and nanotechnology by studying how a cell phones works Program seeks to address both recruitment and retention G.A.M.E.S. Lgoddard@illinois.edu

  6. Original 4 camps (2009) Civil Engineering (6th-7th) CS (7th-8th) G.A.M.E.S. BioImaging (8th-9th) BioEng/ChemEng (9th-10th) Lgoddard@illinois.edu

  7. GLEE Camp Program consists of: morning classes that include hands-on labs to provide exposure to 10 sub-fields of EE, team projects in the afternoons to allow the girls to do “engineering!” hands on demos in research labs at Illinois social activities after dinner, and connecting campers to faculty mentors and female students in EE at Illinois and to Motorola volunteers G.A.M.E.S. Lgoddard@illinois.edu

  8. Encouraging Innovation Main project: build an FM phone (FM transmitter) out of discrete components – the girls apply what they’ve learned about EE and cell phones. Each team synthesizes their ideas and designs/lays out their circuit on a prototyping board. They perform experiments on their prototypes. Finally, campers solder together their own FM phone that they get to play with in the dorms and to take home. G.A.M.E.S. Lgoddard@illinois.edu

  9. GLEE 2010 G.A.M.E.S. Lgoddard@illinois.edu

  10. Hands on activities • Each team has a bag with a battery clip, batteries, an LED, and a resistor • Carry out a 2-factor experiment to determine under which conditions the LED will light up • No talking with other teams (we want independent results) • Factors • x1=Red wire to shorter (-1) or longer (+1) LED leg • x2=Resistor and LED in series (-1) or parallel (+1) G.A.M.E.S. Lgoddard@illinois.edu

  11. LED experiment • Factors • x1=Red wire to shorter (-1) or longer (+1) LED leg • x2=Resistor and LED in series (-1) or parallel (+1) Series Parallel LED Battery Battery LED Resistor Resistor

  12. Curiosity based learning • Not given all the details. Some groups find only 1 connection works whereas some other groups find their device always fails. They have to figure out why. Opens a curiosity gap. • Teams want to solve the mystery • Allow them to talk with other teams to find out what variables were overlooked • Teaches them how to draw conclusions from observations and that the world is full of non-ideal problems where a solution may not exist

  13. Feedback from non-STEM staff to make an age appropriate workbook

  14. Catalyzing Partnerships Camp planning: Lynford Goddard, Young Mo Kang, Steve McKeown, Minosca Alcantara, Kris Ackerman, Sue Larson, Kathy Nibeck, Renee Massey, and Heather Thompson Recruiting: High school teachers and counselors, NSBE, SHPE, family, friends Assessment: College of Engineering, Women in Engineering Camp manuals: Lynford Goddard, Young Mo Kang, Steve McKeown, Cori Johnson, Alex Haser, Alandria Lark, Jacquelyn DiMonte, Gautam Shine, and Amir Arbabi Curriculum review: Kris Ackerman, Renee Massey, Heather Thompson, Jana Sebestik Camp Instructors: Professors Lynford Goddard, Tangül Başar, Jennifer Bernhard, Marie-Christine Brunet, Xiuling Li, Alejandro Dominguez-Garcia, Philip Krein and Students Young Mo Kang and Steve McKeown Lab Assistants: Rebecca Marcotte, Stephanie Chou, Sai Ma, and Kamaria Massey Counselors: Alex Haser, Kelli Coleman, and Christina Poon Tour Leaders: Prof. Stephen Boppart, Stanton Cady, Lydia Majure, Dane Sievers, Young Mo Kang, Steve McKeown, and Josephine Lu ECE lab support: Dan Mast and Wally Smith Guest presentations: Peggy Matson from Motorola   This camp was made possible through generous donations by the Motorola Foundation, donated software from National Instruments, and technical support from the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering, the Women in Engineering program, and the College of Engineering. G.A.M.E.S. Lgoddard@illinois.edu

  15. GAMES 2012 Moved from middle school to high school in 2011 Robotics (9th-10th) Bioengineering (9th-11th) Chemical Engineering (9th-11th) Environmental Engineering (9th-12th) Aerospace Engineering (9th-12th) Girls Learning Electrical Engineering (10th-12th) Girls Learning About Materials (10th-12th) Needed to form new partnerships, e.g. with high school teachers/counselors to be able to recruit G.A.M.E.S. Lgoddard@illinois.edu

  16. Outline • ChicTech • Saturday program for high school girls • Girls Learning Electrical Engineering (GLEE) • 1 week summer camp for high school girls • Brain Fitness Fridays (BFFs) • 4 Friday program for K-8 students • Illinois Summer Academy • 3 day program for high school students • Principles of Experimental Research • Class for senior undergrads and new grad students

  17. Brain Fitness Fridays (BFFs) • Kinesiology Department runs a popular Summer Sports Fitness camp for K-8 students (Mon-Thur) • In 2011, Technology Entrepreneur Center and Engineering faculty launched BFFs to engage these students in hands-on STEM activities • Topics included design, entrepreneurship, nanotechnology, robotics, the math and science of sports, and Mentos launching • Parents loved it: educational and cheaper than paying a babysitter • Partnership created a unique outreach program • Reached out to kids who were not pre-disposed to STEM • 42 kids (19 female) with ages ranging from 5-14 participated in the BFF program during the four week camp

  18. Brain Fitness Fridays (BFFs) • Leveraged existing outreach efforts • NSF Nano-CEMMS center, Micro and Nanotechnology Lab, Physics Van, FabLab, TEC and the Solar Decathlon project • Split group as K-4 and 5-8 for age appropriate activities

  19. Illinois Summer Academy • New outreach program for summer 2012 • 3 day camps in: Aerospace Engineering, Agricultural & Biological Engineering, Art & Design, Bioengineering, Crop Science, Electrical & Computer Engineering, Landscape Architecture & Urban Planning, Leadership, Molecular & Cellular Biology, Physics, Veterinary Medicine • Partnership with national 4-H club through the UI chapter • Plan to leverage existing outreach efforts • GLEE and Engineering Open House activities

  20. New course: ECE 498LG (446) Principles of Experimental Research • Develop students into independent researchers • Design of experiment • Experimental techniques/instruments • Data collection and analysis • Oral/written presentation of research • Scientific computing (LabVIEW, Matlab) • Open ended labs to build cool stuff • Independent experiment on your topic of choice • Great opportunity for research experience, especially if you can’t get into undergrad research with a prof • ECE lab elective

  21. Summary • Do what you do best – EDUCATE! • Form partnerships to handle logistics, provide unique learning or research experiences, or perform assessment and evaluation • Let them do what they do best • Work closely to recruit, retain, and inspire your students • Leverage your efforts • If they haven't seen it, it's new to them • No need to reinvent the wheel