June 15, 2019
June 15, 2019
June 19, 2019
Pre-College Engineering Education
Cross Cutting Concepts in an Informal Engineering Setting (Fundamental) Abstract The participation gap between men and women in STEM sectors is persistent. This gap can be traced back to young women self-selecting out of STEM career options early in the middle school years for complex reasons. Informal education settings allow for an antidote to the cultural complications which disallow rigorous participation of young women in STEM. This study focuses on an informal engineering education program which fosters an environment where young women build interest, skills, confidence and an understanding of how their own goals, such as helping people, align with traditional STEM careers. This study setting is an informal engineering program for 13 and 15-year-old girls which simulates the creative challenges engineers engage in engineering design and problem solving. This low stakes setting with high quality teacher-researchers allows for risk taking and experimentation which can be refined and elevated into the traditional classroom setting. This study is focused on the incorporation of Next Generation Cross Cutting Concepts into the informal engineering education setting. The program includes building participants’ understanding of how their prior knowledge and experience tied into their engineering experiences. Most importantly, student learning is centered on how cross cutting concepts in science is paired with observations, insights and innovation in engineering design and problem solving. Participants had varying knowledge of engineering and cross-cutting concepts prior to their participation in the program. The program curriculum developers used unique methods to help the participants learn more about engineering, creative problem solving, how they might see themselves in these fields and how these experiences tied into Cross Cutting Concepts. This study reports on the mechanisms used to structure cross-cutting concept development with engineering connections. Additionally, innovations that classroom teacher-researchers developed in this low stakes environment led to teaching tools which transfer into the traditional classroom setting.
Besser, D., & Thomas, A., & Farah, R., & Brass, T. (2019, June), Cross Cutting Concepts in an Informal Engineering Setting (Fundamental) Paper presented at 2019 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition , Tampa, Florida. 10.18260/1-2--32570
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