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Board 118: Implementation of an Engineering Summer Camp for Early-Elementary Children (Work in Progress)

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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

Pre-College Engineering Education Division Poster Session

Tagged Division

Pre-College Engineering Education

Tagged Topic


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Paper Authors


Laura Bottomley North Carolina State University

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Dr. Laura Bottomley, Teaching Associate Professor of Electrical Engineering and Elementary Education, is also the Director of Women in Engineering and The Engineering Place at NC State University. She has been working in the field of engineering education for over 20 years. She is dedicated to conveying the joint messages that engineering is a set of fields that can use all types of minds and every person needs to be literate in engineering and technology. She is an ASEE and IEEE Fellow and PAESMEM awardee.

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Susan Beth D'Amico North Carolina State University

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Susan B. D’Amico
Coordinator of Engineering K-12 Outreach Extension
The Engineering Place
College of Engineering
NC State University

Susan earned a B.S in Industrial Engineering from NC State and has worked in the

Telecom and Contract Manufacturing Industries for over 25 years as an Industrial Engineer, Process Engineer, Manufacturing Engineer, Project Manager, Business Cost Manager and Program Manager. Inspired by coursework she developed and presented as an engineer, her professional path made a turn towards education by completing coursework for lateral entry teaching.

Susan now works for The Engineering Place, the K-12 outreach arm for NC State
University’s College of Engineering, as a coordinator for Outreach. Her main
responsibility is to manage the week long Day and Residential Summer Engineering Camps for rising 3rd through 12th graders in Raleigh and throughout the growing number of partner locations throughout the state of North Carolina. Over 1,700 children will be attending one of her engineering camps during the summer of 2015.

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Amber L. M. Kendall Tufts Center for Engineering Education and Outreach

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Amber Kendall is the Coordinator of STEM Partnership Development at The Engineering Place at North Carolina State University. She recently received her PhD from Tufts University, where she worked as a graduate research assistant with the Center for Engineering Education and Outreach. She graduated from North Carolina State University as a Park Scholar with a BA in Physics, and spent several years teaching physics to high-school freshman. Amber's primary research interests include K-12 teacher professional development for integrated STEM curricula and elementary student engineering design thinking and practices. When she is not at work, Amber enjoys spending time with her family designing games, building LEGO, and fabricating costumes.

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Daniel Gordon Mendiola Bates North Carolina State University

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Daniel is a doctoral student at NCSU, in the STEM Education Department: Technology, Engineering, and Design Education. Research interests include Latino students' persistence in Engineering, engineering and failure among K-8 students, visual information in education research, Technology Education in Informal Education, and design and making in education. He has a MS in Technology and Engineering Education From Brigham Young University. Daniel taught 4 years in secondary education and will be looking for jobs spring 2019!

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Whitney N. McCoy North Carolina State University

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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. 10.18260/1-2--29891

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