Asee peer logo

Board 124: Influencing Student Engineering Interest and Identity: A Study Investigating the Effect of Engineering Summer Camps on Middle and High School Students (Work in Progress)

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

Page Count

6

DOI

10.18260/1-2--32218

Permanent URL

https://peer.asee.org/32218

Download Count

95

Request a correction

Paper Authors

biography

Timothy Robinson University of Nevada, Reno

visit author page

I am a former elementary and middle public school teacher who is currently pursuing a doctoral degree in STEM Education. My research interests are in the areas of science and engineering education where I look at student interest as well as the use of technology such as digital data collection devices and the impact they have on students' ability to argue scientifically.

visit author page

biography

Adam Kirn University of Nevada, Reno Orcid 16x16 orcid.org/0000-0001-6344-5072

visit author page

Adam Kirn is an Assistant Professor of Engineering Education at University of Nevada, Reno. His research focuses on the interactions between engineering cultures, student motivation, and their learning experiences. His projects involve the study of student perceptions, beliefs and attitudes towards becoming engineers, their problem solving processes, and cultural fit. His education includes a B.S. in Biomedical Engineering from Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology, a M.S. in Bioengineering and Ph.D. in Engineering and Science Education from Clemson University.

visit author page

biography

Jennifer R. Amos University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign

visit author page

Dr Amos joined the Bioengineering Department at the University of Illinois in 2009 and is currently a Teaching Associate Professor in Bioengineering and an Adjunct Associate Professor in Educational Psychology. She received her B.S. in Chemical Engineering at Texas Tech and Ph.D. in Chemical Engineering from University of South Carolina. She completed a Fulbright Program at Ecole Centrale de Lille in France to benchmark and help create a new hybrid masters program combining medicine and engineering and also has led multiple curricular initiative in Bioengineering and the College of Engineering on several NSF funded projects.

visit author page

biography

Indira Chatterjee University of Nevada, Reno

visit author page

Indira Chatterjee received her M.S. in Physics from Case Western Reserve University, Cleveland, Ohio in 1977 and Ph.D. in Electrical Engineering from the University of Utah, Salt Lake City, Utah in 1981. Indira is Associate Dean of Engineering and Professor of Electrical and Biomedical Engineering at the University of Nevada, Reno. As Associate Dean she oversees undergraduate and graduate education in the college including assessment, accreditation, recruitment, retention and advising. She also coordinates efforts to expand the research productivity of the College of Engineering. This includes promoting and facilitating industry-college partnerships, identifying and monitoring opportunities for competitive research grants, apprising faculty of research opportunities and providing coordination and leadership for forming research teams as needed to respond to these opportunities. She serves as chair of the College of Engineering curriculum committee and is a member of the university curriculum committee. Indira has been a faculty member at the University of Nevada, Reno since 1988. As Professor of Electrical and Biomedical Engineering she has been actively involved in funded research. She has been primary mentor to several graduate students who are well placed in industry and academics. Her research areas include: Numerical and experimental bioelectromagnetics, RF/microwave/millimeter wave dosimetry, high intensity electronanopulse clinical applications, antenna design, and electrical properties of materials. Over the past 30 years she has brought in over $6 million in research funding from the National Science Foundation, Air Force Office of Scientific Research, Johns Hopkins University, National Institutes of Health, Environmental Protection Agency, Department of Energy and private industry. She is a senior member of the IEEE, a member of the IEEE MTT-10 committee, and a member of the ASEE, Bioelectromagnetics Society and Society of Women Engineers. She serves on the editorial board of the Bioelectromagnetics Society.

visit author page

Download Paper |

Abstract

A fundamental problem in the professional formation of engineers is the insufficient number of students interested in pursuing engineering as a college major and career. Students’ interest in engineering at the K-12 level has been shown to predict whether they pursue engineering as a college major and career. Recent research that deals with understanding student identities and how that influences choice of engineering as a major and career has confirmed the importance of further research supporting interest and identity. One method to increase student interest in STEM disciplines is university outreach for K-12 students, such as summer camp opportunities. Using a mixed-methods approach, we examined if engineering summer camp activities offered by a college of engineering at a western US land-grant university influence engineering interest and identity in middle and high school students. Using collected quantitative and qualitative data, we were able to answer the following research questions: (1) How does a week-long engineering summer camp affect middle and high school students’ interest in engineering and their identity as engineers? (2) Which specific activities in the camps lead to a change in identity and interest in engineering?

Fifty-five middle and high school students, ages ranging from 11 to 17 years participated in one of three week-long engineering summer camps: an all-female Young Women in Engineering camp, a First-Generation camp where participants would be the first member of their immediate family to attend college, and an Introduction to Engineering camp open to any middle or high school student. Data were collected in three ways: (1) identical pre and post surveys that addressed engineering identity, interest, and STEM career interest, (2) focus groups on day four of each camp, and, (3) non-participant observation of camp activities for the entirety of the camp experience. Both the focus groups and the observations of activities were videotaped to help ensure accuracy during analysis. Preliminary results from the surveys indicate that there was a positive statistically significant change in participants’ attitudes about doing well on science (Z= -3.153, p=.002) and engineering tasks (Z=-3.167, p=.002) (a precursor to identity). Additionally, focus group data indicated positive changes in participant interest and identity as well as specific camp activities that increased participants’ interest and identity as engineers. These changes in identity can be seen in participant quotes such as the following, “I realized that there is a lot more, you need to have a lot more patience being and engineer because you have to go through a lot of trial and error to figure out how to do something correctly. Even if something doesn’t work you have to persevere and make sure that it works the way you want it to.” The findings of this work will be used to improve existing activities to better contributed to student engineering interest and identity development. Additionally, future work will disseminate activities that successfully develop students’ interests and identities to engineering outreach practitioners.

Robinson, T., & Kirn, A., & Amos, J. R., & Chatterjee, I. (2019, June), Board 124: Influencing Student Engineering Interest and Identity: A Study Investigating the Effect of Engineering Summer Camps on Middle and High School Students (Work in Progress) Paper presented at 2019 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition , Tampa, Florida. 10.18260/1-2--32218

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