The American Society for Engineering Education now has a student chapter at the University of Florida.
The nonprofit organization works nationally to promote and further engineering education. Student chapters focus on developing relationships between universities and local schools and on supporting careers in engineering education.
After attending the 119th ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition in 2012, material science and engineering graduate student Amy Bumbaco decided that ASEE was the best organization for people passionate about education and engineering academia. She decided to start a chapter at UF because she wanted to have a way to form a community with others who – like her – are drawn to engineering education.
“Engineering education is vital to keeping up with changing society and technology,” Bumbaco said. “Students need to be taught in new ways.”
Bumbaco, with the help of Angela Linder, associate dean for student affairs, created the chapter in August 2012. One year later, paperwork is finalized, the chapter is recognized by the parent organization and interest on campus is starting to build. By forming an ASEE chapter, UF joins a network of 20 other collegiate institutions, including Stanford and Purdue universities. The UF chapter has a mix of undergraduate and graduate members as well as a diversity of engineering disciplines.
“All the members are passionate about education,” Bumbaco said.
Chapter members are currently planning ways to use their collective engineering education to foster the growth of STEM education in the Gainesville community, particularly at K-12 schools.
“I have seen so many students struggle with knowing if engineering is right for them or struggling with the way it was taught,” Bumbaco said. “Now I can have a direct impact on students like these.”