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Assessing The Impact of Pre-College Stem Instruction and Hands-On Exposure On The Engineering Identity of Freshmen Students At An Hbcu
A cohort of pre-engineering students (chemical, computer, and electrical) was selected to participate in a five week pre-college engineering program. In conjunction with Introduction to Engineering and Pre-Calculus courses, participants enrolled in a special topics course for exposure to quantum computing, material science/engineering, entrepreneurship/customer discovery, along with hands-on courses with practicing engineers. The subject matters within these courses included potential career pathways, programming quantum circuits, quantum hardware/qubit implementations, business model canvas and customer discover (based from NSF I-Corps methodology). Students were required to generate a potential product based on their quantum computing or materials/engineering presentations and encouraged to construct a business model canvas. In addition, they conducted at least five customer interviews to test their business and technical hypotheses. In order to assess the impact of the engineering students’ experiences on their engineering identity, semi-structured pre-and post-surveys focused on STEM and entrepreneurship were administered to the students for tracking during their first semester of STEM college courses.