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Distinctive and unique outreach programs: Promoting academic excellence and diversity (Monaco & Morse 2014)

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Monaco, P., & Morse, A. (2014). Distinctive and unique outreach programs: Promoting academic excellence and diversity. Proceedings of the 2014 American Society for Engineering Education Annual Conference & Exposition. Washington, DC: American Society for Engineering Education.


  • The study examined a series of residential environmental engineering summer camps run by a southern technology university that were intended to stimulate interest in STEM fields, primarily for girls and underrepresented minority groups. Three different types of summer camps were offered for different populations: international mixed-gender Brazilian students, female-only, and local mixed-gender students.
  • The authors reviewed qualitative data collected from 81 4th- through 12th-grade students participating in one of five summer camp sessions. These data included pre-session oral surveys; ongoing observations of class participation; and post-session group discussions, activity worksheets that asked for open-ended application of STEM theories to examples, and oral surveys.
  • According to post-session discussions and surveys, across the five camp sessions, about 65 percent of camp participants, of whom 25 percent were females, expressed interest in pursuing a STEM major. The authors also reported that the females had higher levels of participation and engagement in female-only sessions compared with mixed-gender sessions.

Reviewed by CLEAR

December 2015