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ERIC Number: EJ1411961
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2023
Pages: 17
Abstractor: As Provided
EISSN: EISSN-2157-9288
Challenging the Notion of Role Models in Engineering Outreach Programs for Youth
Kelli M. Paul; Karen Miel; Merredith D. Portsmore; Adam Maltese
Journal of Pre-College Engineering Education Research, v13 n2 Article 5 2023
Engineering outreach programs often portray outreach educators as role models for youth. It is widely believed that introducing youth, especially girls, to potential engineering role models will broaden participation in engineering majors and careers. Based on interviews with and surveys of fourth- and fifth-grade girls participating in an engineering outreach program, we question whether youth are looking for career role models, and we challenge the assumption that youth will take up an adult as a role model simply because the adult is presented as such. We question what role these ''models'' play in the minds and lives of youth and argue that it may differ from what we expect. To be clear, we are not arguing that engineering role models are not important or not influential. Rather, we think it is important to gain a better understanding of how youth, particularly girls, view these potential engineering role models, which will allow us to optimize the significance of these adults to the youth participating in engineering outreach. [Paper presented at the American Society of Engineering Education Annual Conference & Exposition, Baltimore, MD.]
Purdue University Press. Stewart Center Room 370, 504 West State Street, West Lafayette, IN 47907. Tel: 800-247-6553; Fax: 419-281-6883; e-mail: pupress@purdue,edu; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: Elementary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: National Science Foundation (NSF), Division of Research on Learning in Formal and Informal Settings (DRL)
Authoring Institution: N/A
Grant or Contract Numbers: 1657509; 1657519