Salt Lake City, Utah
June 23, 2018
June 23, 2018
July 27, 2018
Pre-College Engineering Education
In 2017, The Engineering Place at North Carolina State University began hosting a summer camp for rising kindergarten through second grade students (approximate ages 4-8). Of the myriad engineering camps offered each summer, either at this organization itself or elsewhere, most do not target early-elementary students. This echoes the general trend of focusing on the later grades in engineering education and missing an opportunity to introduce engineering to students who are full of creativity and curiosity, and who are open to all the developmental possibilities that engineering concepts can provide. This endeavor is a work-in-progress and our paper describes how the design of the camp was informed by both the theoretical foundation of early-elementary engineering education, and the practical methods adapted from work with older audiences, to introduce engineering related concepts like an engineering design process and engineering habits of mind to younger children. Elements of the camp include the use of literature to contextualize daily design challenges and provide bridges between activities, the use of scaffolding for activities to “level the playing field” for students with diverse backgrounds and skill-sets and to assist with shortcomings in fine motor skills, and the identification of strategies for developing student confidence and positive attitude toward failure. This paper also discusses the stratified structure of teams for camp management and content delivery, and the importance of K-12 teachers partnered with engineering undergraduate students in the implementation of the camp, as well as lessons learned by each of the constituencies. Preliminary assessment results include informal surveys and focus groups, coupled with observations of camp and video clip analyses.
Bottomley, L., & D'Amico, S. B., & Kendall, A. L. M., & Bates, D. G. M., & McCoy, W. N. (2018, June), Board 118: Implementation of an Engineering Summer Camp for Early-Elementary Children (Work in Progress) Paper presented at 2018 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition , Salt Lake City, Utah. https://peer.asee.org/29891
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