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Board 98: Findings from the First Year of a Project that Partners Engineers and Educators in Rural Schools

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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

7

Permanent URL

https://peer.asee.org/30150

Download Count

30

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Paper Authors

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Jacob R. Grohs Virginia Tech

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Jacob Grohs is an Assistant Professor in Engineering Education at Virginia Tech with Affiliate Faculty status in Biomedical Engineering and Mechanics and the Learning Sciences and Technologies at Virginia Tech. He holds degrees in Engineering Mechanics (BS, MS) and in Educational Psychology (MAEd, PhD).

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Veronica van Montfrans Virginia Tech

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Postdoctoral Associate in the Department of Engineering Education at Virginia Tech.

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Holly M. Matusovich Virginia Tech

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Dr. Matusovich is an Associate Professor in Virginia Tech’s Department of Engineering Education. She has her doctorate in Engineering Education and her strengths include qualitative and mixed methods research study design and implementation. She is/was PI/Co-PI on 10 funded research projects including a CAREER grant. She has won several Virginia Tech awards including a Dean’s Award for Outstanding New Faculty. Her research expertise includes using motivation and related frameworks to study student engagement in learning, recruitment and retention in engineering programs and careers, faculty teaching practices and intersections of motivation and learning strategies.

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Gary R. Kirk Virginia Tech

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School of Public & International Affairs,

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Cheryl Carrico P.E. Virginia Tech

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Cheryl Carrico is a research faculty member for Virginia Tech. Her current research focus relates to STEM career pathways (K-12 through early career) and conceptual understanding of core engineering principles. Dr. Carrico owns a research and consulting company specializing in research evaluations and industry consulting. Dr. Carrico received her B.S. in chemical engineering from Virginia Tech, Masters of Engineering from North Carolina State University, MBA from King University, and PhD in Engineering Education from Virginia Tech. Dr. Carrico is a certified project management professional (PMP) and licensed professional engineer (P.E.).

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Andrew L. Gillen Virginia Tech

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Andrew Gillen is a doctoral student and graduate research assistant in the Department of Engineering Education at Virginia Tech. Andrew received his B.S. in Civil Engineering with an environmental engineering concentration from Northeastern University.

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Sarah Anne Blackowski Virginia Tech

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Sarah is a PhD student in the Department of Engineering Education at Virginia Tech. She has a bachelor's degree in Aerospace Engineering from Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University and, during that time, spent a summer at Franklin W. Olin College of Engineering for an REU in engineering education. Sarah's research interests include: motivation, student and faculty metacognition, and engineering faculty self-regulated learning.

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Holly Larson Lesko

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Tawni Paradise Virginia Tech

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Department of Engineering Education

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Abstract

One significant barrier to broadening participation in engineering and recruiting future engineers is the pervasive lack of understanding or even misunderstanding of what engineering is and what engineers do. The challenges to broadening participation in engineering are further complicated as underrepresented groups often report constructs, such as cultural milieu and outcome expectations, as more important than interest in influencing career choices. Addressing such issues is difficult and single exposure interventions are unlikely to make engineering careers seem more relevant or attainable for most students. More sustainable interventions, designed to (1) challenge misperceptions and create relevant conceptions of engineering; (2) maintain and expand situational interest; and, (3) integrate with individual interests, values, and social identities, appear to hold more promise for creating significant change.

As a possible means of developing more sustainable interventions, our ITEST project partners researchers, teachers, and local industry representatives in creating a series (approximately 6 across an academic year) of engineering-related learning activities for middle school children in three school systems in or near rural Appalachia. Across the first year of implementation, we involved nine teachers, six people working at three different companies and more than 500 students with a series of activities in each classroom. To examine the impact of our project, we are using mixed methods, including interviews, surveys, classroom observations, and classroom artifacts gathered from multiple project stakeholders, to answer the following research questions: RQ 1: How do participants conceptualize engineering careers? How and why do such perceptions shift throughout the project? RQ 2: What elements of the targeted intervention affect student motivation towards engineering careers specifically with regard to developing competencies and ability beliefs regarding engineering? RQ 3: How can strategic collaboration between K12 and industry promote a shift in teacher’s conceptions of engineers and increased self-efficacy in building and delivering engineering curriculum? RQ 4: How do stakeholder characteristics, perceptions, and dynamics affect the likelihood of sustainability in strategic collaborations between K12 and industry stakeholders? How do prevailing institutional and collaborative conditions mediate sustainability?

Our findings to date offer insights across all research questions and have important implications for stakeholders hoping to raise awareness of engineering among youth, particularly in rural areas.

Grohs, J. R., & van Montfrans, V., & Matusovich, H. M., & Kirk, G. R., & Carrico, C., & Gillen, A. L., & Blackowski, S. A., & Lesko, H. L., & Paradise, T. (2018, June), Board 98: Findings from the First Year of a Project that Partners Engineers and Educators in Rural Schools Paper presented at 2018 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition , Salt Lake City, Utah. https://peer.asee.org/30150

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