A virtual STEM outreach program for elementary and middle school students during COVID-19

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Authors
Shen, Anthony
Issue Date
2021-03
Type
Conference paper
Language
en_US
Keywords
Virtual STEM program , Elementary school students , Middle school students , COVID-19
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Abstract

Gender inequality has been a persistent problem in higher education and industry in the STEM fields in the United States. While progress has been made in the last decade, there is a potential for increasing inequality in the time of COVID-19 with the inability to engage students in a face-to-face forum. In order to introduce elementary and middle school students to robotics and STEM, a monthly, virtual online outreach curriculum, mostly led by female students has been developed to stimulate student excitement and encourage girls to get involved in the fields of science and technology. Robotics is used as a conduit to teach and stimulate interest in STEM. A fun, hands on, and interactive curriculum for a series of educational online workshops has been developed, covering the engineering design process, competitive robotics, 3D CAD tutorial, programming, and robot mechanics. Our findings suggest that in elementary school, girls and boys are approximately equally interested in STEM. The outreach workshop appears to be a useful way to encourage and engage boys and girls in STEM virtually during COVID 19.

Description
Published in SOAR: Shocker Open Access Repository by Wichita State University Libraries Technical Services, May 2022.
The IEMS'21 conference committee: Wichita State University, College of Engineering (Sponsor); Gamal Weheba (Conference Chair); Hesham Mahgoub (Program Chair); Dalia Mahgoub (Technical Director); Ed Sawan (Publications Editor)
Citation
Shen, A. (2021). A virtual stem outreach program for elementary and middle school students during COVID-19. Proceedings of the 2021 IEMS Conference, 27, 78-83.
Publisher
Industry, Engineering & Conference Management Systems Conference
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PubMed ID
ISSN
2690-3210 (print)
2690-3229 (online)
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