Before making his way to Durham, North Carolina from New York City, Aaron Kyle firmly believed that engineering design was a great way to get young people engaged in STEM learning. Since shifting from an urban metropolis to a smaller, rural area, that conviction has only been elevated.
The professor of the practice in biomedical engineering at Duke also knew that it was equally important for underserved and underrepresented groups interested in the field to be exposed to STEM and have ample opportunity to apply their knowledge there.
Community outreach and engagement are at the core of what Kyle aims to accomplish as both an academic and an educator. They play pivotal roles in fostering connections, promoting education and driving positive change within STEM so that anyone can get involved and contribute their own unique perspective. One inspiring example of effective community outreach that holds lessons for anyone working in this space can be found through Kyle’s Outreach Design Education (ODE) program here at Duke University.
When Aaron Kyle joined Duke Biomedical Engineering in July 2022, one of his immediate goals was to develop an outreach program that could help younger students—particularly underrepresented minority students—learn about engineering and design concepts.
That program has come to fruition in the form of Outreach Design Education, or ODE for short.
ODE was developed to give students the practical skills to both identify problems and develop solutions using basic engineering skills. The goal, Kyle says, is for the students to transform an idea from a far-off concept into a practical, finished project. In his position as a professor of the practice in Duke BME, Kyle will work with the Duke community on these efforts, leveraging the design instructors and student leaders within Duke BME to help him reach and energize the next generation of engineers.
“My approach to engineering education is finding the best ways to teach students how to identify and solve a problem,” says Kyle. “When we can make engineering more accessible and enjoyable to more people, we can make engineering more comprehensive, helpful and inclusive to all.”
Aaron Kyle joined Duke University’s Department of Biomedical Engineering as a Professor of the Practice beginning July 1, 2022. With vast experience in engineering education, Kyle will develop new design courses that will help students learn how to apply engineering concepts to address biomedical problems.
Prior to his arrival at Duke, Kyle was a senior lecturer in the Department of Biomedical Engineering at Columbia University, where his work focused on improving engineering education for students of all levels. In his new role at Duke, Kyle will use his expertise to help expand and improve Duke BME’s senior design and bioinstrumentation courses and Duke Engineering’s signature First-Year Design program. Kyle will also help launch new design courses for sophomore and junior BME students. He is also interested in developing curricular tools for integration of Diversity, Equity, Inclusion and Justice considerations into engineering education.
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