June 23, 2013
June 23, 2013
June 26, 2013
K-12 & Pre-College Engineering
23.98.1 - 23.98.18
A ROBOTICS SUMMER CAMP FOR HIGH SCHOOL STUDENTS: LEARNING ABOUT ENGINERING DESIGN AT FIRST HAND AND CAREER INTEREST IN ENGINEERINGThis study discusses the lived-experiences and engineering interests of 27 high school studentswho participated in a two-week Robotics summer camp in 2012. The summer camp wasdesigned by a team of engineering faculty, graduate students, and undergraduates in order toprovide the high school students with the opportunity to play and work with the materials todesign a robot, build it, test it, and re-design it. A secondary purpose of the camp was to helpstudents determine their career choice in the engineering fields before higher education.The participants included twelve 11 graders and fifteen 12 graders. Four out of 27 participantswere female. The participating 27 students were selected according to (a) their contentquestionnaire scores administered to 145 students in 34 different locations (b) personal interestessays, and (c) phone interviews. Three out of 27 students had some previous experience withRobotics activities through after-school programs at their high school. Two students from atechnical vocational high school had attended the similar camp before. Three students came fromdifferent private high schools. Only one student has been attending an international school. Theremaining was from public high schools where the mathematics and science courses are largelytaught.The camp provided the students with theoretical background through (a) a computerprogramming course, (b) a basic electronics course, and (c) proteus, pic, and microC training.The students in groups of two were motivated to design, build, test, and modify their robotsthrough practical implementations. They were given a variety of challenges in each practicalimplementation and were expected to pass each challenge to master; therefore, they could beable to compete with the other groups in the camp. In the camp, invited researchers presentedabout their research and interest in Robotics and showed interdisciplinary perspectives ofRobotics activities in the field (e.g., cardiovascular surgery). Also the students attended otherextracurricular activities (e.g., a field trip to Ford company).Study data were collected through interviews, field notes, and observations. The analysis of thequalitative data indicated that the camp increased the students’ interest in engineering and helpedthem determine specific engineering fields that they wish to study in their academic career. Ourobservations revealed that the participating students engaged in activities with a community ofengineers and gained first hand and original engineering design experience, which in turn helpedthem understand what the field looks like, what they can do in the future if they selectengineering as a career option, and how they can use engineering practices in other disciplines.Most of the students were interested in engineering throughout their school years; however,activities offered at their schools were limited to technical knowledge. They were rarely engagedin practical activities to bolster their passion in engineering. Their personal interest and familysupport were the keys to sustain their interest toward engineering even though high-stakeuniversity exams were limiting the practical engagements of engineering activities. In ourpresentation, we will be describing the camp-learning environment context (activities,collaboration, and student-to-student and mentor-to-student interactions) in more details andreport how the students’ experiences influenced their career selection and perseverance inengineering.
Ayar, M., & Yalvac, B., & Ugurdag, F., & Sahin, A. (2013, June), A Robotics Summer Camp for High School Students: Pipelines Activities Promoting Careers in Engineering Fields Paper presented at 2013 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, Atlanta, Georgia. 10.18260/1-2--19112
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