Asee peer logo

Board 121: Development of a Create-a-Lego-Engineer Activity to Examine Students’ Engineering Identity

Download Paper |

Conference

2019 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition

Location

Tampa, Florida

Publication Date

June 15, 2019

Start Date

June 15, 2019

End Date

June 19, 2019

Conference Session

Pre-College Engineering Education Division Poster Session

Tagged Division

Pre-College Engineering Education

Tagged Topic

Diversity

Page Count

8

DOI

10.18260/1-2--32212

Permanent URL

https://peer.asee.org/32212

Download Count

105

Request a correction

Paper Authors

biography

Kelli Paul Indiana University Orcid 16x16 orcid.org/0000-0003-2322-7542

visit author page

Dr. Kelli Paul is a postdoctoral researcher in science education at Indiana University. She received her Ph.D. in Educational Psychology specializing in Inquiry Methodology from Indiana University in 2006. She managed a consulting business for 10 years working on evaluations that focused primarily in the areas of education and STEM for middle and high school students, especially women and minority students. Her research interests include student engagement and interest in STEM and STEM careers as well as the development of instruments and evaluation tools to assess these constructs.

visit author page

biography

Euisuk Sung Indiana University Orcid 16x16 orcid.org/0000-0001-7162-875X

visit author page

Euisuk Sung is a postdoctoral researcher at Indiana University. He earned a Ph.D. degree in Engineering and Technology Teacher Education at Purdue University. He has computer science degree and worked as a computer software developer for three years. then he served as an engineering and technology educator in high school for 9 years in South Korea. Currently he is working in NSF Funded project, titled TRAILS. His research interests are design cognition, maker education, computer science education, and all about STEM education.

visit author page

biography

Adam V. Maltese Indiana University Orcid 16x16 orcid.org/0000-0001-8422-9395

visit author page

Associate Professor of Science Education

visit author page

biography

Karen Miel Tufts University Orcid 16x16 orcid.org/0000-0002-8460-4332

visit author page

Karen Miel is a PhD student in STEM Education at Tufts University. Karen served as the Director of Research and Innovation at the science center CuriOdyssey and the Education Director of the Palo Alto Junior Museum and Zoo after teaching elementary and middle school. Her research focuses on elementary students’ reasoning and decision-making in collaborative engineering design.

visit author page

biography

Merredith D. Portsmore Tufts University

visit author page

Dr. Merredith Portsmore is the Director for Tufts Center for Engineering Education and Outreach (www.ceeo.tufts.edu). Merredith received all four of her degrees from Tufts (B.A. English, B.S. Mechanical Engineering, M.A. Education, PhD in Engineering Education). Her research interests focus on how children engage in designing and constructing solutions to engineering design problems and evaluating students’ design artifacts. Her outreach work focuses on creating resources for K-12 educators to support engineering education in the classroom. She is also the founder of STOMP (stompnetwork.org), LEGOengineering.com (legoengineering.com), and the online Teacher Engineering Education Program (teep.tufts.edu).

visit author page

Download Paper |

Abstract

This paper describes the development of a Create-a-Lego-Engineer (CALE) activity which was created as an alternative to the Draw-a-Scientist (DAST) and Draw-an-Engineer Tests (DAET). While the DAST and DAET examine students’ (mis)conceptions of scientists and engineers, they provide limited information about whether students can envision themselves as scientists or engineers now or in the future. We drew from the Lego Serious Play (LSP) method which is grounded on the premise that hands-on learning results in a deeper understanding of the world and oneself in it. The LSP method is a process used to enhance innovation and business development, and it involves adults building metaphorical representations of their identity using Lego bricks. We adapted this process for use with elementary students (3rd-5th grade) in a specific context, namely students are asked to build themselves as engineers and a scene depicting what they would be doing as an engineer. Lego bricks were chosen as they are familiar to most students, are easy to use even without prior experience, and require no special skills or artistic abilities. The activity allows us to explore students’ creations of physical representations of themselves as engineers, including issues related to gender and physical characteristics (e.g., skin color, hair color and style), all of which students can customize using a variety of Lego options. Students are provided with a variety of Lego person pieces in order to try and build a representation of themselves using Legos. Additionally, a wide variety of Lego brick pieces were provided in order to allow for numerous ways in which students might represent engineers doing engineering work. Students were asked to imagine themselves as engineers and then to create their Lego engineer. Next, on a notecard, they described the type of work their Lego engineer would be doing, at which point they were then asked to create this scene using Lego bricks. Finally, after completing their creations, students reflected on the meaning of what they built and verbally described their creation and the choices they made. While these reflections provide additional insight into students’ beliefs about who can be an engineer and what engineers do, they also provide students an opportunity to imagine and see themselves in the role of an engineer. This activity was developed within the context of a multi-year, NSF-funded research project examining the dynamics between undergraduate outreach providers and elementary students to understand the impact of the program on students’ engineering identity and career aspirations. This paper will describe the development of the activity as well as preliminary findings from pilot testing and use with elementary students participating in the overall research project. Potential implications and limitations will be described.

Paul, K., & Sung, E., & Maltese, A. V., & Miel, K., & Portsmore, M. D. (2019, June), Board 121: Development of a Create-a-Lego-Engineer Activity to Examine Students’ Engineering Identity Paper presented at 2019 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition , Tampa, Florida. 10.18260/1-2--32212

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: © 2019 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