Middle school girls' perceptions of engineers before and after a female only summer enrichment program

Linda S. Hirsch, Suzanne Berliner-Heyman, Rosa Cano, Howard Kimmel, John Carpinelli

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

12 Scopus citations

Abstract

The Center for Pre-College Programs at New Jersey Institute of Technology sponsors a series of summer programs designed to increase academically talented students' interest in the fields of science, technology, engineering and mathematics. One of the programs, Woman in Engineering and Technology, called FEMME, has been designed specifically for young women in an effort to increase the number of women interested in engineering and other technological careers. The programs span grades four to eight because middle school is not only an important time for all students to begin thinking about future careers, but because boys and girls do not differ much in technical abilities until the later high school years but rather in their attitudes toward technological careers including engineering. Single-gender programs like FEMME can be particularly effective in reaching young girls, influencing their attitudes before they reach high school. The Middle School Students' Attitude to Engineering, Science and Mathematics Survey and the Draw an Engineer Test have been used to more fully assess young women's perceptions of engineers and what they believe engineers actually do, and how their perceptions may change as a result of attending the FEMME program.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publication41st Annual Frontiers in Education Conference
Subtitle of host publicationCelebrating 41 Years of Monumental Innovations from Around the World, FIE 2011
DOIs
StatePublished - Dec 1 2011
Event41st Annual Frontiers in Education Conference: Celebrating 41 Years of Monumental Innovations from Around the World, FIE 2011 - Rapid City, SD, United States
Duration: Oct 12 2011Nov 15 2011

Publication series

NameProceedings - Frontiers in Education Conference, FIE
ISSN (Print)1539-4565

Other

Other41st Annual Frontiers in Education Conference: Celebrating 41 Years of Monumental Innovations from Around the World, FIE 2011
CountryUnited States
CityRapid City, SD
Period10/12/1111/15/11

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Software
  • Education
  • Computer Science Applications

Keywords

  • Attitudes toward engineering
  • Female only enrichment programs
  • Girl's perceptions of engineers
  • Knowledge of engineering careers

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