Development and validation of a regional university’s model for community and industry engagement

Gibbings, Peter D. and Bullen, Frank (2011) Development and validation of a regional university’s model for community and industry engagement. In: AaeE 2011: Developing Engineers for Social Justice: Community Involvement, Ethics & Sustainability, 5-7 Dec 2011, Fremantle, Australia.

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Participation by rural and remote area students has been identified as a critical element in increasing enrolments in higher education in Australia. This paper describes a research project to develop a model based on a regional university’s investigation of a strategic alliance with the extractive energy industry to engage high schools in the local communities in engineering related activities, and ultimately to encourage participation by students in higher education. A key component of the model and adopted strategy was the design and conduct of engineering camps. This involved year 10 to 12 students in 2010-2011, from 13 regional high schools attending the university to work on real-life projects surrounding coal seam gas extraction. Students were also provided an opportunity to participate in site visits to experience life as an engineer in the energy industry. The desired outcomes of the model were: from the university’s perspective to give students a taste of life as a student at university; from the students’ perspective to raise awareness of issues surrounding the energy industry in their geographic area; and from the discipline perspective to demonstrate practical relevance of science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) subjects. The planned outcomes would then help to engage the local communities through the students’ schools, make students aware of opportunities for further study, demonstrate the ease with which they could transition from high school to university life, and thereby encourage high school students in these communities to aspire to a career in engineering and spatial science. The interactive model resulted in camps that have become an annual event due to their unquestionable success. The model has now been embraced by industry, and opportunities have also been identified to further develop the model through a strengthened high school engagement.

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Item Type: Conference or Workshop Item (Commonwealth Reporting Category E) (Paper)
Refereed: Yes
Item Status: Live Archive
Additional Information: Authors retain copyright. Paper 126.
Depositing User: Mr Peter Gibbings
Faculty / Department / School: Historic - Faculty of Engineering and Surveying - Department of Surveying and Land Information
Date Deposited: 20 Mar 2012 02:01
Last Modified: 12 Aug 2014 02:29
Uncontrolled Keywords: engineering education, community engagement, QMEA
Fields of Research (FOR2008): 09 Engineering > 0999 Other Engineering > 099999 Engineering not elsewhere classified
Socio-Economic Objective (SEO2008): E Expanding Knowledge > 97 Expanding Knowledge > 970109 Expanding Knowledge in Engineering

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