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Board 154: Zipping to STEM: Integrating Engineering Design in Middle School Science

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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

NSF Grantees Poster Session

Tagged Topic

NSF Grantees Poster Session

Page Count

11

Permanent URL

https://peer.asee.org/29957

Download Count

22

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Paper Authors

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Kristin L. K. Koskey University of Akron

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Wondimu Ahmed University of Akron

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Dr. Wondimu Ahmed is an Assistant Professor in the LeBron James Family Foundation College of Education at the University of Akron. He received his Ph.D. from University of Groningen, The Netherlands. His research focuses on motivation and emotions in education, particularly in STEM subjects.

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Nidaa Makki The University of Akron

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Dr. Nidaa Makki is an Associate Professor in the LeBron James Family Foundation College of Education at The University of Akron, in the department in Curricular and Instructional Studies. Her work focuses on STEM curriculum integration and science inquiry practices in middle and high school. She is a co-PI on an NSF funded project to investigate the impact of integrating engineering on middle school students’ interest and engagement in STEM. She has also received funding to conduct teacher professional development in the areas of engineering education, problem based learning and physics inquiry instruction.

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Nicholas Garafolo University of Akron

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Dr. Nicholas G. Garafolo is a researcher in the broad area of thermo-fluids and aerospace, with an emphasis in advanced aerospace seals, near-hermetic fluid flows, and turbomachinery modal analysis. Dr. Garafolo currently holds a position as Assistant Professor at The University of Akron. Supporting the dissemination of his research activities, Dr. Garafolo has nine journal manuscripts, over 30 conference papers and presentations, and $868,647 of total project funding. Prior to his appointment, Dr. Garafolo worked as a federal contractor, under the umbrella of a multi-million dollar contract, in space flight hardware research and development to NASA Glenn Research Center in Cleveland, Ohio. Dr. Garafolo was instrumental in developing a synergistic approach in the research and component modeling of elastomeric space seals for manned spaceflight; an asset to NASA and the development of advanced aerospace seals for the next generation of manned spacecraft. The unique problem necessitated a grasp of both fluid dynamics and material science, as well as experimental and computational analysis. As a DAGSI/Air Force Research Laboratory Ohio Student-Faculty Fellow, Dr. Garafolo gained experimental knowledge in structural dynamics of turbomachinery. In particular, his research on engine order excitation yielded insight into generating high cycle fatigue of turbomachinery using acoustic excitation.

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Benjamin G. Kruggel University of Akron

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Ben is a graduate student at the University of Akron pursuing a MEd in high school science education. He received his B.S. in aeronautical engineering from Ohio State in 1994 and was commissioned in the U.S. Air Force. He retired in 2016 with assignments in aeronautical research and development, flight test engineering, and Air Force education and training.

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Donald P. Visco Jr. The University of Akron

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Donald P. Visco, Jr. the Dean of the College of Engineering at The University of Akron and Professor of Chemical & Biomolecular Engineering.

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Abstract

This 3-year ITEST project focuses on integrating engineering design concepts and practices in the middle school physical sciences curriculum. The goal is to increase students’ interest in STEM and expand their access to opportunities to experience integrated STEM activities. Our work focused on middle school students as research shows that interest in STEM decreases through middle school. The planned intervention is based on existing theory and research on motivation, as well as the emerging body of literature on integrated STEM instruction. Research shows that relevance is essential to student engagement in science and mathematics. Engaging students in engineering activities where they solve real world problems motivates them to learn science and mathematics, and helps them see the relevance to their everyday lives. Increasing middle school students’ interest in science in particular is a strong predictor of later STEM career pursuit.

The curriculum was designed around the Soap Box Derby Mini-Cars that includes the use of computer-aided design (CAD) software, virtual and physical wind tunnel testing, and 3D printing. Eighth-grade middle school science teachers participated in a one-week professional development workshop to learn the software and how to integrate engineering into the force and motion curriculum. They also engaged in ongoing professional development leading up to the learning unit. The students were engaged in using technology (CAD Software, Virtual wind tunnel) to design and test a shell for a mini model car, while learning science concepts of forces and motion. This curriculum is aligned with the Next Generation Science Standards in terms of the focus on integrating engineering practices in the science curriculum.

A quasi-experimental pre-test post-test group comparison design was applied to assess the impact of the intervention on students’ understanding of engineering design concepts (measured by an engineering concept test with 13 multiple choice items and 2 open ended design tasks), understanding of force and motion concepts (measured by a science concept test), interest in STEM (assessed by the S-STEM survey), and interest in STEM careers (also assessed by the S-STEM survey).

In this poster session, we will share key findings from the research. We will also share lessons learned from implementing a STEM program across multiple classrooms in a large urban district.

This research is supported by the National Science Foundation (Award Number: DRL-1513205).

Koskey, K. L. K., & Ahmed, W., & Makki, N., & Garafolo, N., & Kruggel, B. G., & Visco, D. P. (2018, June), Board 154: Zipping to STEM: Integrating Engineering Design in Middle School Science Paper presented at 2018 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition , Salt Lake City, Utah. https://peer.asee.org/29957

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