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Cross Cutting Concepts in an Informal Engineering Setting (Fundamental)

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Conference

2019 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition

Location

Tampa, Florida

Publication Date

June 15, 2019

Start Date

June 15, 2019

End Date

June 19, 2019

Conference Session

Pre-College Engineering Education Focused on Female Students

Tagged Division

Pre-College Engineering Education

Tagged Topic

Diversity

Page Count

9

Permanent URL

https://peer.asee.org/32570

Download Count

3

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Paper Authors

biography

Deborah Besser P.E. University of St. Thomas

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Dr. Besser, PE, ENV SP, holds a PhD in education and MS and BS in civil engineering. Currently, she is civil engineering chair and Center for Engineering Education director. Previous experience includes faculty positions in diverse universities where she has taught a variety of coursework including steel, timber, concrete and masonry design, construction, engineering economy, engineering graphics and engineering education. Prior to teaching, Dr. Besser, a licensed engineer, was a design engineer with HNTB-CA, where she worked on seismic retrofits and new design of high profile transportation structures.

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biography

AnnMarie Thomas University of St. Thomas

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AnnMarie Thomas is a professor in the School of Engineering at the University of St. Thomas where she is the director of the UST Center for Engineering Education. Her research group, the Playful Learning Lab, focuses on engineering and design education for learners of all ages.

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Rachel Farah University of St. Thomas

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I am a computer engineering student at the University of Saint Thomas and am a researcher at the Playful Learning Lab. I am passionate about educating and promoting self efficacy with the youth across all socioeconomic levels.

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biography

Tami Brass St. Paul Academy and Summit School

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Director of Instructional Technology, St Paul Academy and Summit School
K12 Collaboration Liaison, Center for Engineering Education, St. Thomas University

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Abstract

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. https://peer.asee.org/32570

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