June 24, 2017
June 24, 2017
June 28, 2017
Pre-College Engineering Education Division
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.
ASEE holds the copyright on this document. It may be read by the public free of charge. Authors may archive their work on personal websites or in institutional repositories with the following citation: © 2017 American Society for Engineering Education. Other scholars may excerpt or quote from these materials with the same citation. When excerpting or quoting from Conference Proceedings, authors should, in addition to noting the ASEE copyright, list all the original authors and their institutions and name the host city of the conference. - Last updated April 1, 2015