Engineering projects in community service (EPICS) high: Preliminary findings regarding learning outcomes for underrepresented students (Work in progress, diversity)

Alissa Ruth, Tameka Spence, Joseph V. Hackman, Jennifer Velez, Hope Parker, Tirupalavanam Ganesh

Research output: Contribution to journalConference article

2 Scopus citations


Engineering Projects in Community Service (EPICS) High utilizes human-centered design processes to teach high school students how to develop solutions to real-world problems within their communities. The goals of EPICS High are to utilize both principles from engineering and social entrepreneurship to engage high and middle school students as problemsolvers and spark interest in STEM careers. Recently, the Cisco corporate advised fund at the Silicon Valley Community Foundation, granted Arizona State University funds to expand EPICS High to underrepresented students and study the student outcomes from participation in this innovative program. In this exploratory study we combined qualitative methods-in person observations and informal interviews-along with pre and post surveys with high school students, to answer the questions: What skills do students gain and how does their mindset about engineering entrepreneurship develop through participation in EPICS High? Research took place in Title I schools (meaning they have a high number of students from low-income families) as well as non-Title I schools. Our preliminary results show that students made gains in the following areas: their attitudes toward engineering; ability to improve upon existing ideas; incorporating stakeholders; overcoming obstacles; social responsibility; and appreciation of multiple perspectives when solving engineering problems. While males have better baseline scores for most measures, females tend to have the most growth in many of these areas. We conclude that these initial measures show positive outcomes for students participating in EPICS High, and provide questions for further research.

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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