Broadening the Reach of Engineering through Community Engagement (BRECE)

Project: Research project

Project Details


Broadening the Reach of Engineering through Community Engagement (BRECE) Broadening the Reach of Engineering through Community Engagement (BRECE) Summary The Broadening the Reach of Engineering through Community Engagement (BRECE) Scholars Program endeavors to provide 4 years of mentoring, academic and financial support to a cohort of 13 students to pursue and earn engineering baccalaureate degrees in the College of Technology and Innovation (CTI) at Arizona State University (ASU). Beyond impacting the number of talented students that will enter the STEM workforce and or STEM graduate school, the BRECE scholars program will foster a cohort of students that are socially responsible, and able to apply their engineering training to a broader range of fields that can include teaching, social entrepreneurship, public service, non-profit and other community engagement areas. Traditionally, community engagement has not been a prominent aspect in engineering education. In fact, engineering students are reported to be more likely than students in other disciplines to believe that individuals cannot create change in society and less likely to describe themselves as altruistic (Sheppard et al., 2009). This culture is being changed in the CTI Engineering program along with all other academic units at ASU. The university charges all who reside within the institution to share the responsibility for the economic, social and cultural vitality of the communities that surround it. Building upon the rigorous project-based multi-disciplinary engineering program in CTI, the BRECE program will achieve its objectives by embedding students into two successful programs for community engagement at ASU: STEAM Labs and GlobalResolve. The STEAM Labs program challenges teams of middle and high school-aged students to learn and apply the engineering design process to build chain-reaction STEAM Machines in a project-based, cooperative learning environment that spans one or more sites connected through the Internet. The program teaches students real-world engineering skills, provides experience with systems thinking and multi-team collaboration, and creates a pathway for students to better understand careers in engineering. BRECE Scholars will act as facilitators in their freshman and sophomore years to mentor middle and high school-aged students participating in this program. GlobalResolve is a social entrepreneurship course series designed to involve ASU students in projects that directly improve the lives of people in underserved communities, often in underdeveloped nations. Students and faculty from across ASUs innovation ecosystem work with the community needing assistance and a local, partner university to understand the context and needs; design solutions driven by the community vision and principles of sustainability; and develop no-tech, low-tech and high-tech solutions that address pressing public health or environmental needs (e.g., infrastructure, water filtration processes, alternative energy solutions, new medical devices, etc.). BRECE Scholars will participate in GlobalResolve projects in their junior and senior years
Effective start/end date8/1/1312/31/19


  • National Science Foundation (NSF): $621,428.00


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