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Caregivers’ Multiple Roles in Supporting their Child through an Engineering Design Project (Fundamental)

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2021 ASEE Virtual Annual Conference Content Access


Virtual Conference

Publication Date

July 26, 2021

Start Date

July 26, 2021

End Date

July 19, 2022

Conference Session

Pre-College Engineering Education Division Technical Session 13

Tagged Division

Pre-College Engineering Education

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Paper Authors


Amber Simpson State University of New York at Binghamton Orcid 16x16

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Amber Simpson is a Assistant Professor of Mathematics Education in the Teaching, Learning and Educational Leadership Department at Binghamton University. Her research interests include (1) examining individual’s identity(ies) in one or more STEM disciplines, (2) understanding the role of making and tinkering in formal and informal learning environments, and (3) investigating family engagement in and interactions around STEM-related activities. Before joining BU, she completed a post-doctoral fellowship at Indiana University-Bloomington. She earned a Ph.D. in mathematics education from Clemson University.

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Jing Yang Indiana University Bloomington


Peter N. Knox Binghamton University (State University of New York)

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Peter Knox is a Ph.D. candidate in the College of Community and Public Affairs at Binghamton University (State University of New York). His research is focused on family-school-community partnerships, social and familial capital, rural education, and education policy.

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Adam V. Maltese Indiana University-Bloomington Orcid 16x16

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Professor of Science Education

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Caregivers are one of the most significant influences in their children’s engineering engagement at a young age; however, the roles caregivers can play in supporting their children is less understood. Employing an intrinsic case study on a five-month engineering program conducted in an out-of-school context, we illustrate the multiple and different roles that three caregivers enacted, and the contextual factors of the program that influenced and shaped their role enactment. We observed 12 dynamic, complex, and evolving roles that caregivers endorsed to support their child throughout the engineering design process. These roles were situated within preexisting rules and expectations as caregivers while also developing an understanding of the rules and expectations of an engineer through their social interactions with volunteer engineers and makers. This work contributes to our understanding of how to create environments to enable caregivers to best support their children’s STEM learning process.

Simpson, A., & Yang, J., & Knox, P. N., & Maltese, A. V. (2021, July), Caregivers’ Multiple Roles in Supporting their Child through an Engineering Design Project (Fundamental) Paper presented at 2021 ASEE Virtual Annual Conference Content Access, Virtual Conference. 10.18260/1-2--36786

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