Impact of an engineering service learning program on dual credit high school student interests in engineering (evaluation)

J. Jill Rogers, Amy Annette Rogers, James C. Baygents

Research output: Contribution to journalConference articlepeer-review


Service Learning is a form of experiential education that allows students to apply knowledge learned in the classroom to solve a real community problem. This paper will examine the impact of an EPICS High service learning unit on the interests of high school students. The EPICS High unit is taught as part of a dual credit, introduction to engineering course offered by the University of Arizona. EPICS is a program that was developed at Purdue University to engage undergraduate students in real world engineering problems and to connect engineering with people and the local community needs. Today the EPICS program has been adapted for use in high school classrooms. Data presented in this work were collected over three academic years. Participants were 406 high school juniors and seniors, 325 male and 81 female, who engaged in engineering service projects in their community as part of their ENGR 102 HS course. Data from all ENGR 102 HS students (n=1363) were also examined. Large numbers of participants came from groups typically underrepresented in engineering, including Hispanic students who make up forty percent of the sample. Results showed that EPICS High students who identified as Hispanic/Latino were more likely to express an interest in studying engineering than EPICS High students not identifying as such. Students who identified as Hispanic/Latino who participated in an EPICS high service learning project also showed a stronger interest in studying engineering in college than students of Hispanic/Latino ethnicity in an ENGR 102HS course without the service learning portion. Eighty percent of all the participants reported that participation in the EPICS High unit increased their interest in engineering and no significant gender differences were found. Participants also reported improved capabilities in the areas of teamwork, leadership and communication.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalASEE Annual Conference and Exposition, Conference Proceedings
StatePublished - Jun 23 2018
Event125th ASEE Annual Conference and Exposition - Salt Lake City, United States
Duration: Jun 23 2018Dec 27 2018

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Engineering(all)


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