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A Study of the Attitudes and Practices of K-12 Classroom Teachers who Participated in Engineering Summer Camps (Evaluation)

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2018 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition


Salt Lake City, Utah

Publication Date

June 23, 2018

Start Date

June 23, 2018

End Date

July 27, 2018

Conference Session

Professional Development for Teachers and Counselors

Tagged Division

Pre-College Engineering Education

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Paper Authors


Amber L. M. Kendall North Carolina State University

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Amber Kendall is the Coordinator of STEM Partnership Development at The Engineering Place at North Carolina State University. She recently received her PhD from Tufts University, where she worked as a graduate research assistant with the Center for Engineering Education and Outreach. She graduated from North Carolina State University as a Park Scholar with a BA in Physics, and spent several years teaching physics to high-school freshman. Amber's primary research interests include K-12 teacher professional development for integrated STEM curricula and elementary student engineering design thinking and practices. When she is not at work, Amber enjoys spending time with her family designing games, building LEGO, and fabricating costumes.

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Laura Bottomley North Carolina State University

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Dr. Laura Bottomley, Teaching Associate Professor of Electrical Engineering and Elementary Education, is also the Director of Women in Engineering and The Engineering Place at NC State University. She has been working in the field of engineering education for over 20 years. She is dedicated to conveying the joint messages that engineering is a set of fields that can use all types of minds and every person needs to be literate in engineering and technology. She is an ASEE and IEEE Fellow and PAESMEM awardee.

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Susan Beth D'Amico North Carolina State University

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Susan B. D’Amico
Coordinator of Engineering K-12 Outreach Extension
The Engineering Place
College of Engineering
NC State University

Susan earned a B.S in Industrial Engineering from NC State and has worked in the

Telecom and Contract Manufacturing Industries for over 25 years as an Industrial Engineer, Process Engineer, Manufacturing Engineer, Project Manager, Business Cost Manager and Program Manager. Inspired by coursework she developed and presented as an engineer, her professional path made a turn towards education by completing coursework for lateral entry teaching.

Susan now works for The Engineering Place, the K-12 outreach arm for NC State
University’s College of Engineering, as a coordinator for Outreach. Her main
responsibility is to manage the week long Day and Residential Summer Engineering Camps for rising 3rd through 12th graders in Raleigh and throughout the growing number of partner locations throughout the state of North Carolina. Over 1,700 children will be attending one of her engineering camps during the summer of 2015.

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The Engineering Place at North Carolina State University has hosted engineering summer camps in various forms for nearly twenty years. The design of these camps employs K-12 teachers in partnership with University faculty and staff engineers, undergraduate engineering students, and high school students for several reasons; K-12 Teachers are invaluable for their professional skills in classroom facilitation, instruction, and management and the opportunity to provide engineering educational information indirectly to another group of students, the teacher’s classroom students. However, the program also hypothesized that teacher's participation in these camps might have longer-term influence on their classroom practice and attitudes toward STEM teaching. This paper reports on the results of a survey sent to past teacher-participants in which they were asked to self-report about their experience of receiving training on engineering educational concepts and then applying what they learned while participating in our engineering summer camps, and the impact that had on their subsequent behavior. These surveys build upon previous participant assessments at our organization and work by Sun and Strobel on the Elementary Engineering Education Adoption and Expertise Development Framework. Follow-up interviews and classroom visits were used to provide observational and narrative accounts, and further explore and explicate these impacts on individual teachers. Our expectation is that through this experience there has been a positive impact on the teachers’ understanding of the meaning and scope of engineering, an improvement in their confidence to try new concepts in their classrooms, and an incorporation of engineering habits of mind into their overall course curriculum.

Kendall, A. L. M., & Bottomley, L., & D'Amico, S. B. (2018, June), A Study of the Attitudes and Practices of K-12 Classroom Teachers who Participated in Engineering Summer Camps (Evaluation) Paper presented at 2018 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition , Salt Lake City, Utah. 10.18260/1-2--29727

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