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An Investigation of Students' Experiences in a K-12 Invention Program (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

Program Evaluation Studies

Tagged Division

Pre-College Engineering Education

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Paper Authors


Sunni Haag Newton Georgia Institute of Technology

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Sunni Newton is currently a Research Associate II at the Georgia Institute of Technology in the Center for Education Integrating Science, Mathematics, and Computing (CEISMC). Her research focuses on assessing the implementation and outcomes of educational interventions at the K-12 and collegiate levels. She received her MS and Ph.D. in Industrial/Organizational Psychology from Georgia Tech in 2009 and 2013, respectively.

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Meltem Alemdar Georgia Institute of Technology

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Meltem Alemdar (PhD) is Associate Director and Senior Research Scientist at Georgia Institute of Technology’s Center for Education Integrating Science, Mathematics and Computing (CEISMC). Her research focuses on improving K-12 STEM education through research on curriculum development, teacher professional development, and student learning in integrated STEM environments. Dr. Alemdar is currently co-PI for research on various NSF funded projects. In addition, she has been external evaluator for various NSF Projects over the past nine years. Her expertise includes program evaluation, social network analysis and quantitative methods such as Hierarchical Linear Modeling, and Structure Equation Modeling. As part of an NSF funded project, she directs a longitudinal study that focuses on measuring engineering curriculum impact on student learning and 21st Century skills. She also has directed a large multi-year multi-institutional social network analysis study to measure changing collaboration patterns among program investigators as a part of a NIH funded grant. She received her Ph.D. in Educational Policy, with a concentration in Research, Measurement, and Statistics, from Georgia State University.

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Roxanne A. Moore Georgia Institute of Technology

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Roxanne Moore is currently a Research Faculty member at Georgia Tech with appointments in the school of Mechanical Engineering and the Center for Education Integrating Mathematics, Science, and Computing (CEISMC). She is involved with engineering education innovations from K-12 up to the collegiate level. She received her Ph.D. in Mechanical Engineering from Georgia Tech in 2012.

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Christopher J. Cappelli Georgia Institute of Technology

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Christopher Cappelli, MPH, is a Research Associate at the Center for Education Integrating Science, Mathematics, and Computing (CEISMC) at the Georgia Institute of Technology. He is a member of the CEISMC Educational Research and Evaluation team, where he conducts research and evaluation in the fields of K-12 education and public health.

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The InVenture Challenge is an innovation-driven experience for K-12 students that operates in partnership with an institute of higher education. Students across all grade levels and educational settings (e.g., regular, gifted, and AP classrooms in a variety of subject areas; after school programs) are eligible to participate. Generally, students work in small groups to develop an invention from problem-seeking to prototype over the course of multiple months. In the process, they present their ideas to others, solicit feedback, and iterate on their design multiple times. In the spring, students with the top inventions from their individual schools travel to Georgia Institute of Technology to pitch their inventions to judges and audience members in a statewide competition.

The goal of this research is to understand the experiences of teachers and students within the program and the ways they benefit from participating. Initial research efforts have focused primarily on teachers’ experiences implementing the program. Through survey, focus group, and interview data collected over the past several years, teachers have also provided their perspectives about how the program has impacted their students. Across several academic years, teachers’ survey data reflects a high level of agreement that participation has had a positive impact on their students’ communication and teamwork skills, enthusiasm for learning about engineering and entrepreneurship, and knowledge of the engineering design process, how products are made, how to design a sales pitch, and how to start a business.

In this paper, we summarize several years of teacher data related to perceived impact on students and present our first pre-post student survey data. This student survey data will allow us to directly investigate students’ experiences within the program and examine alignment with their teachers’ perceptions of student impacts. Together, this research will provide a multi-faceted view of invention education’s impacts on students.

Newton, S. H., & Alemdar, M., & Moore, R. A., & Cappelli, C. J. (2018, June), An Investigation of Students' Experiences in a K-12 Invention Program (Evaluation) Paper presented at 2018 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition , Salt Lake City, Utah. 10.18260/1-2--29796

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