About this paper

Appears in:
Pages: 2892-2896
Publication year: 2009
ISBN: 978-84-612-9801-3
ISSN: 2340-1117

Conference name: 1st International Conference on Education and New Learning Technologies
Dates: 6-8 July, 2009
Location: Barcelona ,Spain

SMART PROGRAM: A STRATEGY FOR PROMOTING ENGINEERING EDUCATION IN SCHOOLS

M. Mir, T. Sharif

Ajman University of Science & Technology (UNITED ARAB EMIRATES)
In order to promote engineering education and to ensure availability of sufficient number of high school graduates eager to join engineering programs at the university level, it is important that a concerted effort is made in spreading awareness of science and engineering among school students. This requires adoption of innovative strategies so as to make school students interested in science subjects and willing to choose engineering as their profession. A strategy for promoting engineering education through the active involvement of IEEE Student Branches in educational institutions is presented in this paper. Application of this strategy is described in terms of ongoing activities of the IEEE Students Branch at Ajman University of Science & Technology (AUST) for its SMART (Student Mentors for Awareness Raising Tasks) program. The main focus of this program is to motivate and encourage school students to take science subjects in their studies and help them understand the significance of engineering in shaping the modern world. In this way the IEEE student members of AUST play the important role of student mentors. Considering the effectiveness of peer-to-peer communication, the message is readily conveyed to school students and there is noticeable impact of SMART program in spreading the awareness about science and engineering at various schools. As part of the SMART program, students from IEEE Student Branch at AUST present seminars and contribute in organizing science exhibitions/fairs in order to raise awareness about science and engineering in secondary/high schools. They design and prepare simple yet attractive projects with the aim of developing interest in science and engineering. They also introduce to school students websites that explain basic scientific principles and experiments in an interesting manner. In this way, they not only help in raising awareness about science and engineering, but also gain a lot in terms of enhancing their planning and execution skills, communication skills, and leadership skills. This also boosts their confidence and provides a sense of contribution. During the past year, the SMART teams at AUST have visited some primary and secondary schools. A typical visit includes a power-point presentation explaining the significance of science and engineering, the role of engineers in developing new technologies, and a brief introduction to various engineering disciplines. This is followed by a demonstration of simple projects developed by AUST students. Finally, a question-answer session is initiated and IEEE student mentors answer the questions with further explanation about the engineering profession. The SMART teams also play an important role during the visit of high-school science students to AUST. They act as guides during the laboratory visits and help them understand various issues concerning engineering education. Special emphasis is placed on encouraging girl students to select an engineering discipline for their university studies. In this regard, the presence of female students in SMART teams has quite a positive impact. On the basis of experience gained over the past year, plans have been developed to further enhance the effectiveness of SMART program, as explained in the paper.
@InProceedings{MIR2009SMA,
author = {Mir, M. and Sharif, T.},
title = {SMART PROGRAM: A STRATEGY FOR PROMOTING ENGINEERING EDUCATION IN SCHOOLS},
series = {1st International Conference on Education and New Learning Technologies},
booktitle = {EDULEARN09 Proceedings},
isbn = {978-84-612-9801-3},
issn = {2340-1117},
publisher = {IATED},
location = {Barcelona ,Spain},
month = {6-8 July, 2009},
year = {2009},
pages = {2892-2896}}
TY - CONF
AU - M. Mir AU - T. Sharif
TI - SMART PROGRAM: A STRATEGY FOR PROMOTING ENGINEERING EDUCATION IN SCHOOLS
SN - 978-84-612-9801-3/2340-1117
PY - 2009
Y1 - 6-8 July, 2009
CI - Barcelona ,Spain
JO - 1st International Conference on Education and New Learning Technologies
JA - EDULEARN09 Proceedings
SP - 2892
EP - 2896
ER -
M. Mir, T. Sharif (2009) SMART PROGRAM: A STRATEGY FOR PROMOTING ENGINEERING EDUCATION IN SCHOOLS, EDULEARN09 Proceedings, pp. 2892-2896.
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