June 24, 2017
June 24, 2017
June 28, 2017
Pre-College Engineering Education Division
Using Modular Technology as a Platform to Study Youth Approaches to Engineering Practice (Work in Progress) With the creation of the Framework for K-12 Science Education by the National Research Council and the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS), teaching engineering in K-12 education is becoming not only more common, but also a necessity. With the call for engineering design instruction occurring as early as kindergarten, and science and engineering enactment better modeling the discipline, the NGSS mark a major shift towards a new vision of science, and now engineering, in the K-12 classroom. This new vision is not without its challenges. Though much work has been done on understanding student and teacher understanding of and roles in particular science practices (e.g., argumentation), less work has explored what this looks like for engineering practice. Though some frameworks for evaluation of engineering practices in the classroom exist, more work needs to be done to understand student understanding and learning of engineering practices. Understanding this will help inform the design of better supports for teachers and students. This work proposes to a concretely study student conception of engineering practice, along with how engineering can connect to the K-12 classroom. Our collaborators have developed modular sensor technology that allows for multiple and changeable sensors to be adapted on one device. These sensors were originally designed for assessing bridge structural integrity, but have been adapted so that a student can choose a range of sensing modalities pending the question they want to address. We are working with youth in an urban setting to develop a question they want to address about their city, and deploying the sensor to study this question. Youth are challenged with defining problems within their city, ways that sensing technology can best provide information to address that problem, and addressing other questions that arise in their deployment. This arrangement provides a unique window to isolate youth attitudes and understanding surrounding problem definition, an engineering practice called out in NGSS and pertinent to many models of engineering design. For our work on problem definition, youth are assessed by observation, interview and survey. Engagement with the modular sensing technology is iteratively assessed for program and technical improvements. Results presented intend to include a summary of strengths and weaknesses of the model based on youth feedback, as assessed by the survey. Performance data will also be included, based on observations conducted with students as they used the framework to define a question. This will be related back to use in the K-12 classroom. Finally, an initial summary of observations of youth challenges with problem definition. We hope that our model will provide new insight into how students begin to conceptualize these and other engineering practices, and how we can utilize this information to support teachers in engineering.
Handley, J. F., & Moje, E. B., & Lynch, J. P., & Flanigan, K. A. (2017, June), Board # 93 : Using Modular Technology as a Platform to Study Youth Approaches to Engineering Practice (Work in Progress) Paper presented at 2017 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, Columbus, Ohio. https://peer.asee.org/27958
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