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A Replicate Study: Adoption of a STEM Outreach Program in Kuwait

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2020 ASEE Virtual Annual Conference Content Access


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Publication Date

June 22, 2020

Start Date

June 22, 2020

End Date

June 26, 2021

Conference Session

Computers in Education Division Technical Session 10: STEM Outreach

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Computers in Education

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Paper Authors


Safia Malallah Kansas State University

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Safia Malallah is a web developer, artist, and Ph.D. candidate at Kansas State University. She obtained her master’s degree in computer science from Montana State University in 2017. Her research is centered around metamorphic relations ranking for reducing testing costs in scientific software. ِSafia's research interests expanded to include computer science education after observing the influence computer science has on her children. Her current research project is examining methods of teaching young children computational thinking by modeling playground environments. She seeks to expand her experience by volunteering and helping to facilitate STEM workshops.

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Salah Alfailakawi Kansas State University

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Salah Alfailakawi is a PhD student in Educational Technology (ET) Graduate Programs at Kansas State University's College of Education. His areas of interest include social/cultural issues in ET, the impact of ET on learners and teachers, as well as practice and change management. He earned his master's degree in practice and theory in interdisciplinary studies from Montana State University Billings. He has been an a teacher of English as a foreign language since 2006 and a head teacher since 2012 (6th-9th) grade.

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Joshua Levi Weese Kansas State University

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Dr. Josh Weese is a Teaching Assistant Professor at Kansas State University in the department of Computer Science. Dr. Weese joined K-State as faculty in the Fall of 2017. He has expertise in data science, software engineering, web technologies, computer science education, and primary and secondary outreach programs. Dr. Weese has been the lead developer for the PhysPort Data Explorer, a data analytics and visualization portal that enables physics faculty to upload assessment data and receive instant feedback on their students’ assessment results, including expert recommendations and customized visualizations. Dr. Weese is highly active in several outreach programs, including Kansas STARBASE, USD 383 Summer STEM Institute, Girl Scouts of the USA, and Boy Scouts of America, reaching over 1200 Kansas K-12 students annually. He is also currently serving on the state K-12 Computer Science standards committee, leading to adopted computer science standards for the state of Kansas.

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Kuwaiti K-12 computer science (CS) curriculum, centrally focuses on computer literacy and secondarily on programming in public schools. Though it is essential to concentrate on the understanding of Computational Thinking (CT) before beginning with the actual coding, it's imperative to foster CT concepts into the Kuwaiti curricula to improve students' understanding of CS. This will assist them in undertaking more challenging jobs or schools. The CT concepts can be concisely introduced to Kuwait through a successful STEM outreach program. This paper examines the problems that occur from translating and adapting a STEM outreach program from the USA to Kuwait, how to resolve the obstacles that arise from adopting the program by Kuwaiti students, and then compares the understanding of the concepts that the program teaches between Kuwaiti and US students. We decided on the STEM outreach program that was built to help 5th-9th grade students who have no background skills in CS. For this study, we chose to use this program's microcontrollers curriculum to test the capability of the students to learn CT concepts. To cope with the challenges of transferring this program, we had to translate it into Arabic and adjust its schedules. In doing so, we tried to make sure that these changes did not alter the study in any significant way. To measure students' adoption of the CT concepts, we carried out a pre-post self-efficacy survey. This was the first time Kuwaiti students were introduced to this type of assessment; this meant that the students faced some confusion about some of the concepts. Some of these concepts sounded familiar to them, but many did not. Additionally, students' acumen for the survey is highly influenced by their culture. Despite these barriers, the students' ability to think computationally was improved. The statistical comparison between Kuwait and the USA shows that the scores of the USA are higher; still, both countries have gained knowledge. Kuwaiti females were statistically higher than USA females over CT abilities. Thereby, the investigation concludes that the STEM outreach program was effective at promoting the CT concepts in Kuwait

Malallah, S., & Alfailakawi, S., & Weese, J. L. (2020, June), A Replicate Study: Adoption of a STEM Outreach Program in Kuwait Paper presented at 2020 ASEE Virtual Annual Conference Content Access, Virtual On line . 10.18260/1-2--34042

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