Teaching Design to High School Women
Dally, James W.
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This paper describes experiences obtained by teaching high school women design during the Summer Study in Engineering Program for Women High School Students. The program is designed to encourage talented women to pursue engineering careers. An introductory engineering science course was offered to the women participating in this summer program. A project approach was employed in teaching the course to motivate the students and to introduce the concepts involved in teamwork. The students were organized into groups to carry out the design, building, and assembly of a seesaw. Engineering concepts were taught in the classroom on an as needed basis during the design process. While the students were acquiring entry level skills in computer application programs, they used these programs to prepare documents and drawings to describe their seesaw designs. The aspects of teamwork and cooperative learning were stressed as the design project progressed. The women were motivated, actively participated in the project, and appreciated the opportunity to learn engineering design through a project approach.