ASEE Zone 2 Conference 2017

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Developing Critical Consciousness to Promote Engineering for Social Justice: A Pilot Program to Enhance STEM Outreach and Engineering Education through Service-Learning

Final Paper
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There is a growing literature on the intersections between Engineering and social justice.1-4 This paper describes the context and rationale for developing an Engineering for Social Justice Scholars Program in an effort to create new opportunities to enhance engineering education and support a growing K-12 engineering outreach program serving underrepresented minorities in the STEM fields. The pilot program features a two-semester service-learning course sequence. The first course, Social Justice and STEM Education, engages undergraduate students as mentors in a STEM education outreach program for middle school youth in Chicago Public Schools. In the second course, Leadership in Engineering for Social Justice, students apply their knowledge to manage local STEM education outreach programs and also work in teams to develop and implement projects that support engineering for social justice. Through complementary readings, activities, and reflection related to the experiential learning, the program is designed to help students develop a critical consciousness about gender and racial/ethnic disparities in STEM education and the integral role of social justice in engineering education and practice.


Valeri Werpetinski    
Engineering Administration
University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
United States

Sahid Rosado Lausell    
Engineering Administration
University of Illinois at Urbana - Champaign
United States


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