Salt Lake City, Utah
June 23, 2018
June 23, 2018
July 27, 2018
Pre-College Engineering Education
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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