Link to the University of Pittsburgh Homepage
Link to the University Library System Homepage Link to the Contact Us Form

Outreach Projects: Towards a Structured Curricular Activity for Chemical Engineering Students

Rodriguez Alonso, Joaquin Outreach Projects: Towards a Structured Curricular Activity for Chemical Engineering Students. In: ASEE 2022 Annual Conference, 26 June 2022 - 29 June 2022, Minneapolis, Minnesota.

Available under License : See the attached license file.

Download (765kB) | Preview
[img] Plain Text (licence)
Available under License : See the attached license file.

Download (1kB)


Promotion of STEM careers in K-12 schools is essential for the sustainable progress of the world. College students from engineering careers can provide a unique contribution to this effort. Their experience is like the K-12 school environment. However, they have advanced knowledge and skills of their critical role in society. They can offer a realistic model for K-12 students to guide their career choice and to become motivated for STEM college education. In addition, college students benefit from these experiences by reinforcing their commitment to a successful career, and to service the communities that have supported their education. Moreover, the teamwork required for an efficient and engaging set of activities provides possibilities for the inclusion and diversity of different perspectives based on their personal experiences at school. In addition, this team effort provides for the development of multiple skills for their professional job. However, though the benefit of this strategy is well known, most colleges promote outreach as extra-curricular activities. This paper discusses a three-year experience in the Chemical Engineering Department, with the participation of 360 college students, in 70 projects, reaching over 2,000 school students, as a curricular requirement for capstone courses. Continuous improvements have been in progress to provide a systematic approach while remaining flexible for innovation. This has proved valuable in sustaining the continuity of the experience during the COVID-19 pandemic. Activities are organized each semester using project management techniques (plan, logbook, reports, and meetings). The instructor monitors and coaches these activities using a virtual platform MS TEAMS. Activities include an early presentation of the project proposal (week 2), a scheduled progress report presentation (week 4), a meeting with the instructor before delivering the activity to the selected community (weeks 4-8), a poster and a final presentation (weeks 12-14). Students also deliver a package with all the information, including in-person or virtual presentation or hands-on activity, pre- and post- surveys to the audience, interactions with K-12teachers, flyers and other materials (i.e., materials for demonstrations, activities). Schoolteachers frequently report on their impression or evaluation of the activities. Students gather and analyze surveys on the impact of their activities. All classmates review and peer grade deliverables from other teams. Students evaluate their teammates’ performance in this project. Students provide a self-assessment of their individual experience. They earn up to 10% of the definitive grade of the course for this outreach project. This approach has proved to be fully sustainable, and with an overwhelming satisfaction of all the participants.


Social Networking:
Share |


Item Type: Conference or Workshop Item (Paper)
CreatorsEmailPitt UsernameORCID
Rodriguez Alonso, JoaquinJOR104@pitt.eduJOR1040000-0002-7238-4774
Event Title: ASEE 2022 Annual Conference
Event Dates: 26 June 2022 - 29 June 2022
Event Type: Conference
Schools and Programs: Swanson School of Engineering > Chemical and Petroleum Engineering
Refereed: Yes
Uncontrolled Keywords: outreach, K-12, STEM, engineering
Date Deposited: 05 Jul 2022 20:35
Last Modified: 07 Jul 2022 04:55


Monthly Views for the past 3 years

Plum Analytics

Actions (login required)

View Item View Item