Futures in Engineering: Role Models Can Empower
FiERCE is a program that leverages research that indicates that the most effective way to inspire young students to pursue careers in the STEM fields is by exposing them to strong mentors and role-models.
Dr. Marietta Scanlon, assistant teaching professor of engineering at Penn State Berks, developed the program after identifying a need to not only recruit young students to engineering fields, but to also improve retention among undergraduate engineering students.
Dr. Scanlon received a grant from the Engineering Information Foundation to research the effects of role models and mentors on young mind’s interest and confidence in engineering.
FiERCE partners with local schools across Berks and Lancaster counties to deliver engineering content, but more importantly to pair PSU engineering undergrads with middle and high schoolers.
Why Join FiERCE?
Make an Impact!…
89% of respondents indicated that this program made them like science more than they did prior
to the program, 29% of those respondents indicating that they did not like science at all prior to the program but have now developed an
78% of students indicated that the program made
them think more about how things work
70% responded that the program made them more of a problem solver
70% of students felt it made them apply knowledge rather than just memorize it.
93% of students felt positive about their relationships with the PSU mentors, with 82% reporting that working with the mentors made
them more confident about doing engineering work.
100% of the Penn State students felt that they were able to serve as positive role-models to the
middle school girls.
100% of the PSU students indicated that this program increased their confidence in their career choice, and
provided them with validation of their skills
100% of the PSU students indicated that in addition to the mentoring relationship they developed with the undergraduates, they also developed mentoring relationships within their
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The greatest good you can do for another is not just to share your riches but to reveal to him his own.