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Adding Local Cultural Relevance to Engineering Exploration Lessons for Middle School Students

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Conference

2020 ASEE Virtual Annual Conference Content Access

Location

Virtual On line

Publication Date

June 22, 2020

Start Date

June 22, 2020

End Date

June 26, 2021

Conference Session

Pre-college Engineering Education Division Technical Session 7

Tagged Division

Pre-College Engineering Education

Page Count

7

DOI

10.18260/1-2--34092

Permanent URL

https://peer.asee.org/34092

Download Count

60

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Paper Authors

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Jacob R. Grohs Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University

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Jacob Grohs is an Assistant Professor in Engineering Education at Virginia Tech with Affiliate Faculty status in Biomedical Engineering and Mechanics and the Learning Sciences and Technologies at Virginia Tech. He holds degrees in Engineering Mechanics (BS, MS) and in Educational Psychology (MAEd, PhD).

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Holly M. Matusovich Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University

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Dr. Holly M. Matusovich is an Associate Professor in the Department of Engineering Education. She is current the Assistant Department Head for Undergraduate Programs and the former Assistant Department Head for Graduate Programs in Virginia Tech’s Department of Engineering Education. Dr. Matusovich is recognized for her research and practice related to graduate student mentoring. She won the Hokie Supervisor Spotlight Award in 2014, was nominated for a Graduate Advising Award in 2015, and won the 2018 Graduate Student Mentor Award for the College of Engineering. Dr. Matusovich has graduated 10 doctoral students since starting her research program in Spring 2009. Dr. Matusovich co-hosts the Dissertation Institute, a one-week workshop each summer funded by NSF, to help underrepresented students develop the skills and writing habits to complete doctorate degrees in engineering. Across all of her research avenues, Dr. Matusovich has been a PI/Co-PI on 12 funded research projects including the NSF CAREER Award with her share of funding be ingnearly $2.3 million. She has co-authored 2 book chapters, 21 journal publications and more than 70 conference papers. She has won several Virginia Tech awards including a Dean’s Award for Outstanding New Faculty, an Outstanding Teacher Award and a Faculty Fellow Award. She holds a B.S. in Chemical Engineering from Cornell University, an M.S. in Materials Science from the University of Connecticut and a Ph.D. in Engineering Education from Purdue University.

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Cheryl Carrico P.E. Cheryl Carrico Consulting, LLC Orcid 16x16 orcid.org/0000-0001-6327-842X

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Cheryl Carrico is owner of Cheryl Carrico Consulting, LLC. Her current research focus relates to STEM career pathways (K-12 through early career) and conceptual understanding of core engineering principles. She is currently a Member-at-Large for the Pre-college Division of ASEE. Dr. Carrico's consulting company specializes in research, research evaluations, and industry consulting. Dr. Carrico received her B.S. in chemical engineering from Virginia Tech, Masters of Engineering from North Carolina State University, MBA from King University, and PhD in Engineering Education from Virginia Tech. Dr. Carrico is a certified project management professional (PMP) and licensed professional engineer (P.E.).

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Karen J. Gilbert Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University Orcid 16x16 orcid.org/0000-0002-4543-9602

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Karen J. Gilbert is a Doctoral Candidate in Higher Education Administration within the Department of Higher Education of the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences at Virginia Tech. She is currently serving as a Graduate Research Assistant for Dr. Holly Matusovich, Assistant Department Head of Undergraduate Programs for Engineering Education in the College of Engineering. Karen previously worked as a Graduate Assistant for Dr. Rachel Holloway, Vice Provost for Undergraduate Academic Affairs at Virginia Tech and conducted research related to student success for three years on topics such as mentoring, tutoring, student athlete academic support, internships, student academic centers, and transfer students. Karen was the inaugural Coordinator of the Transfer Student living learning community created to support new transfer students, as part of this graduate assistant role. She holds a B.S. in Business Administration and a Master’s in Public Administration from Southern Illinois University at Edwardsville, IL. Karen previously was employed for over twenty years in the career areas of regional planning, economic development, public relations, and community engagement. She worked for Virginia Tech in the College of Engineering and the Center for Student Engagement and Community Partnerships for 11 years. Her research focuses on fostering and sustaining a specific type of cross-sector partnership, campus community partnerships. Karen’s dissertation in progress is on the topic of Leader Perceptions of Campus Community Partnerships in a Community College Setting, focusing on the formation process and the value created.

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Abstract

Helping middle school students explore potential career opportunities based on local culture and values was the foundation of a study of rural Appalachian middle school students conducted at a major university in the United States. Specifically we focused on positively impacting locally and culturally-relevant conceptions of engineering through participation in multiple classroom activities developed through a partnership of teachers, researchers, and local industry partners. To date, the study has revealed a positive change in the understanding and conception of the field of engineering by students who participated in the culturally relevant classroom activities. As a basis for this work, ample literature was found to describe middle school students’ conceptions of engineering but there was limited available research on the value of relating the field of engineering to a student’s local culture. We are offering a resource exchange session to introduce the approach of designing and using classroom engineering exploration activities directly connected to the students’ local environment, featuring the types of engineering work performed in the area and local problems related to engineering. Effective practices for working with industry partners to help design and deliver the classroom activities will also be shared. An example of a classroom intervention will be featured where students explored potential and kinetic energy by designing and building mountain roads out of simple hardware store materials. This activity allowed students to make connections between the roads they built in the classroom and the geography of their local mountainous, rural area. Industry partners participated in this intervention by offering insights from their technical backgrounds and company practices and assisted with the hands-on lessons in the classroom. This was one of six culturally relevant engineering activities provided to 757 sixth-grade students at seven Appalachian middle schools.

Grohs, J. R., & Matusovich, H. M., & Carrico, C., & Gilbert, K. J. (2020, June), Adding Local Cultural Relevance to Engineering Exploration Lessons for Middle School Students Paper presented at 2020 ASEE Virtual Annual Conference Content Access, Virtual On line . 10.18260/1-2--34092

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