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Board 127: A Project-Based Approach to Develop Engineering Design Process Skills Among High School Students (Work in Progress)

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Conference

2018 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition

Location

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

Diversity

Page Count

13

Permanent URL

https://peer.asee.org/29911

Download Count

27

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Paper Authors

biography

Mi Thant Mon (Thant) Soe Drexel University

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Thant is a Ph.D. candidate in Mechanical Engineering and Mechanics department at Drexel University where she focuses on developing microfabrication and microfluidic tools for biomedical research.

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biography

Robert Shultz Drexel University Orcid 16x16 orcid.org/0000-0002-2424-5972

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Robert Shultz is a Biomedical Engineering Ph.D. student and a at Drexel University. His research interests include biomaterials, drug delivery, spinal cord injury, neuroinflammation, and engineering education.

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biography

James M. Muscarella Plymouth Whitemarsh High School

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Jim Muscarella is a physics and engineering teacher at Plymouth Whitemarsh High School in Plymouth Meeting, Pennsylvania. Over the past decade, he has created and developed an engineering program for high school students. Jim holds both a B.S. in Chemical Engineering and a M.S. in Education from Drexel University.

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biography

Jessica S. Ward Drexel University (Eng. & Eng. Tech.)

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Jessica S. Ward serves as the Director of Operations for DragonsTeach and the Program Manager for the Experiential Practices in Education Research and Teaching in STEM (ExPERTS) program at Drexel University. During her tenure at Drexel, Ms. Ward has successfully coordinated with multiple faculty members in the submission of approximately 600 grant proposals, including co-writing, editing and serving as the Program Manager for 8 awarded STEM education grants totaling more than $13M. She has collaborated with University offices, faculty and staff in the facilitation of recruitment strategies to increase the quality and quantity of undergraduate and graduate enrollment in STEM programs. Ms. Ward now manages the day-to-day operations of the DragonsTeach and ExPERTS programs, including supporting the development of programs of study, student and teacher recruitment, fundraising and grant-writing, hiring and supervising staff and student workers as well as coordinating program evaluation.

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biography

Adam K. Fontecchio Drexel University

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Dr. Adam Fontecchio is a Professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering, Associate Dean for Undergraduate Affairs in the College of Engineering, Co- Director of the A. J. Drexel Nanotechnology Institute, an affiliated member of the Materials Engineering Department, and a member of the Center for Educational Research. He is the recipient of a NASA New Investigator Award, the Drexel Graduate Student Association Outstanding Mentor Award, the Drexel University ECE Outstanding Research Achievement Award and the International Liquid Crystal Society Multimedia Prize. In 2003, he received a NASA/ASEE Summer Faculty Fellowship to research NEMS/MEMS adaptive optics in the Microdevices Laboratory at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory. Dr. Fontecchio received his Ph.D. in Physics from Brown University in 2002. He has authored more than 75 peer-reviewed publications.

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Abstract

High school students often apply to undergraduate engineering programs with minimal prior engineering experience. At the same time, other students well-suited to but disinterested in engineering careers may avoid engineering programs due to lack of knowledge or misconceptions about the field. In this project, one high school teacher is partnered with two engineering PhD students to bring a series of engineering design challenge modules into the classroom. These modules will give students an opportunity to exercise engineering design process (EDP) skills while introducing them to the many sub-disciplines and professions under the engineering umbrella. In this work, we will discuss the results of: 1) rubric scores assigned to student groups following module completion that measure student EDP skill level; 2) pre- and post-surveys recording whether developing EDP skills and being exposed to varied engineering skills influences student major or career choice.

Modules will be implemented in a three-part Honors Engineering course sequence offered to 9-12th graders at a local public high school. Students will first learn about the steps of the EDP: (1) identifying/defining the problem; (2) researching potential solutions and brainstorming in small groups; (3) choosing the best solution; (4) designing a prototype; (5) building said prototype; (6) evaluating prototype performance; and (7) subsequent iterations of redesign and testing until an optimal solution is reached. They will then complete EDP modules motivated by real-life engineering problems that serve to introduce students to the wide range of engineering disciplines. For the modules, students will work in groups of 2-3 with minimal instructor input to apply the EDP to design a solution to the problem presented and submit final written reports reflecting on each step of the EDP. As students progress through the course sequence, they will be given additional opportunities to iteratively re-design and re-test their solution prototypes until an optimal design is achieved.

To evaluate the success of module implementation on EDP skill development, we developed a comprehensive rubric used across all three courses. For each step of the EDP, students will be assigned one of several scores corresponding to clearly defined levels of performance. Scores for each step will be combined to yield a composite score for each module. Skill development will be monitored as students progress throughout the course sequence. To determine if EDP experience and exposure to engineering disciplines influence college-bound students’ choice of college major, pre- and post-surveys will be administered. Students will be asked to indicate their top career choices at each time point.

Rubric and survey data will be presented along with examples of EDP modules that can be implemented in various high school math and science classrooms.

Soe, M. T. M. T., & Shultz, R., & Muscarella, J. M., & Ward, J. S., & Fontecchio, A. K. (2018, June), Board 127: A Project-Based Approach to Develop Engineering Design Process Skills Among High School Students (Work in Progress) Paper presented at 2018 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition , Salt Lake City, Utah. https://peer.asee.org/29911

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