San Diego State University: Bioengineering:
A pathway to interdisciplinary STEM at San Diego State University (SDSU)
This past summer, Drs. Karen May-Newman and George Youssef of the Department of Mechanical Engineering hosted a research experience for female students in the interdisciplinary field of Bioengineering. Throughout the program, participants worked under the mentorship of a faculty member and graduate students on different research thrusts within the Cardiovascular Bioengineering Laboratory and the Experimental Mechanics Laboratory. Four undergraduate and nine high school students were engaged in all aspects of applied research from performing experiments to analyzing and interpreting data in SDSU laboratories. At the end of the experience, students were excited and eager to share their final presentations at the guest-packed Conrad Prebys Student Center on July 20, 2017. The room was full of SDSU professors, administrators, high-school teachers, researchers, peers and even some of their parents and siblings. The goal of the program was to motivate and prepare students for successful STEM careers and to increase the participation of women, an underrepresented minority, in engineering programs. The program was very successful for an initial effort, with 80% of participants very satisfied and 20% satisfied. 100% of the students would recommend the program to their peers. The program was funded by the San Diego Foundation as part of the Blasker STEM Education Grants Program.