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Work in progress - informal engineering experiences in the African American community

By: Howell, E.; Davis, K.; Smith, M.; Thomas, L.D.;

2009 / IEEE / 978-1-4244-4715-2


This item was taken from the IEEE Conference ' Work in progress - informal engineering experiences in the African American community ' Engineering outreach and informal experiences have been done for years, however the target audience of African Americans is not often addressed or published. The National Society of Black Engineers as a professional engineering organization is poised to lead this type of outreach and it is embarked in this project. Through the organization's outreach program series a small group of programs have been developed for membership implementation nationwide. The organization provides direction and a funding source for local chapters to provide outreach experiences to students in their neighborhood. The short term goal of the project is to impact 10,000 students with a significant engineering experience in a three year time frame, a more than achievable goal based on the organization's total membership of over 30,000. Significant differences in this model compared to others are the mirror ethnicities of the students being impacted and their experience guides, who are African American engineering students or practicing engineers, experiences outside of a formal education environment and the development of a sense of community. This paper will discuss the formation of the programs, preliminary results and plans of the outreach program.