Promoting engineering education among high school and middle school students

  • Rohitha Goonatilake
  • Rafic A. Bachnak
Keywords: Hispanics, pre-engineering, workshop, engineering program, industry visit, THECB, and TAMIU


Recent decline of students pursuing engineering degree programs is a great concern for many higher education authorities including Federal and State governments [1]. Existing programs in high schools have not yet produced the desired results. Consequently, a number of initiatives to remedy this situation have been proposed and implemented. One such initiative is a funding opportunity by the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board (THECB) to conduct summer engineering workshops to provide high school and middle school students with the opportunity to learn about the engineering profession. This includes information about engineering disciplines and careers, the basics of engineering education, and details about becoming a professional engineer in addition to some subject-related materials being taught. This paper describes a one-week summer program, funded by THECB, that was held at Texas A&M International University, Laredo, Texas in Summer 2010. This program provides not only adequate information about the benefits for choosing engineering disciplines, but also extends students knowledge of the required skills and the career opportunities awaiting them.