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Board # 110 : Head Start on Engineering: Early Findings (Work in Progress)

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2017 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition


Columbus, Ohio

Publication Date

June 24, 2017

Start Date

June 24, 2017

End Date

June 28, 2017

Conference Session

Pre-college Engineering Education Division Poster Session

Tagged Division

Pre-College Engineering Education Division

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Paper Authors


Gina Navoa Svarovsky University of Notre Dame

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Gina Navoa Svarovsky is an Assistant Professor of Practice at the University of Notre Dame's Center for STEM Education and the College of Engineering. She has studied how young people learn engineering for over a decade.

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Scott A. Pattison Institute for Learning Innovation

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Scott A. Pattison, Ph.D., is a researcher at the Institute for Learning Innovation and the Oregon Museum of Science and Industry. He studies education, learning, and interest and identity development in free-choice and out-of-school environments, including museums, science centers, afterschool programs, preschools, and everyday settings.

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Monae Verbeke Institute for Learning Innovation

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Dr. Verbeke is an interdisciplinary researcher in the informal science learning. She has worked internationally on projects incorporating a wide range of science learning institutions. As senior research associate for the Institute for Learning Innovation, she leads research and development of learning tools in the areas of science literacy. science interest and self-efficacy.

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Marcie Benne Oregon Museum of Science and Industry


Pam Greenough Corrie MS Mt. Hood Community College

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Pam Greenough Corrie is the Head Start/Early Head Start Director for Mt. Hood Community College. Pam has 38 years of Head Start experience and 29 years as an Early Childhood Instructor. She developed early childhood science curriculum for the Oregon Museum of Science and Industry.

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In recent years, there has been an increasing focus on early childhood STEM activities as a pathway to planting seeds of interest in STEM that can be cultivated and grown over time. The Head Start on Engineering project is a research study that examines the development of engineering interest for young children and their families through engagement with engineering activities as part of a Head Start program. During the study, families from a specific Head Start site are invited to participate in a series of engineering events where they are invited to engage with developmentally-appropriate engineering activities. A subset of families who attend the events will then be invited to participate in ongoing research activities, which include home visits, interviews, and photo documentation of engineering and design-related activities taken on by family members as part of their everyday lives.

In this work-in-progress paper, we present preliminary findings from this work, including the analysis of front-end survey data from Head Start Families that explored perceptions of engineering before engaging in project events and identifying initial areas within project activities where it might be productive to specifically emphasize engineering ways of knowing, doing, and thinking. Drawing from asset-based perspectives on learning, the study seeks better understand the processes of young children developing engineering-related interests while honoring the culturally situated beliefs, values, and realities within their communities. This work has potential implications for a number of audiences, including the pre-college engineering education community, the early childhood education community, the developmental psychology community, and the learning sciences community.

Svarovsky, G. N., & Pattison, S. A., & Verbeke, M., & Benne, M., & Corrie, P. G. (2017, June), Board # 110 : Head Start on Engineering: Early Findings (Work in Progress) Paper presented at 2017 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, Columbus, Ohio. 10.18260/1-2--27689

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