[BLINDED] university founded an outreach program in 2001 in response to Massachusetts’ inclusion of engineering in the required K-12 science curricular framework. The 17-year-old [BLINDED] program places over 60 undergraduate engineering students as engineering ambassadors into 30 local elementary classrooms each year to help teachers integrate hands-on engineering design projects into their classroom weekly during the academic year. Inspired by NSF’s GK-12 model, [BLINDED] program was created to provide role models and support engineering activities in local schools. A unique characteristic of the [BLINDED] program is that of the 60 undergraduate participants each semester, 50-65% are female, providing participating elementary students with opportunities to interact with role models of all genders. [BLINDED] program is representative of efforts that are happening at over 100 university-based engineering outreach efforts across the United States. As this type of outreach continues to proliferate, thinking about ways to improve and leverage this vast resource is essential to improving its impact.
[BLINDED] is an NSF ITEST project working with the existing [BLINDED] program to develop intervention elements that optimize how role models in engineering are prepared and integrated into elementary school classrooms to maximize their impact on students’ engineering identity and career awareness. With a particular focus on girls, [BLINDED] project is studying the traits and mechanisms that elementary students utilize to identify and select or reject potential role models in engineering.
This paper/poster will share the intervention elements developed and research results to date. Intervention elements include engineering trading cards for engineering ambassadors, news articles on engineering, and in-class for building relationships between ambassadors and elementary students. Research for [BLINDED} projects has focused on analysis of survey data on elementary students’ identity, qualitative analysis of interview with elementary students on engineering interest, and close analysis of classroom video to examine productive interactions between engineering ambassadors and elementary students. The results and products of the [BLINDED] project will inform and enable engineering outreach providers in multiple settings to enhance their programs and impact.
Are you a researcher? Would you like to cite this paper?
Visit the ASEE document repository at
for more tools and easy citations.