June 15, 2014
June 15, 2014
June 18, 2014
K-12 & Pre-College Engineering
24.348.1 - 24.348.3
Studio STEM: Engineering After SchoolStudio STEM is an after-school program designed to increase middle school youth’sunderstanding of science, technology, and engineering through issues related to energysecurity and sustainability. Youth are given the challenge to design and construct devicesthat apply what they have learned about what energy is, how it is transferred andtransformed, and how electricity is created, used, and stored. Youth design motion-generated electric lights, solar powered vehicles, a town that stores its energy incapacitors and batteries, and insulated dwellings. The studio model places emphasis on ascience and engineering content-rich curriculum that links youth to their environment,and the support and scaffolded discussions with mentors. The informal character of thisprogram allows youth the freedom to explore and self-identify with STEM topics. Thepurpose of this mixed-methods study was to understand how middle school youth learnedscience and engineering as three groups participated in the curriculum at after-schoolstudio locations for three academic years. Video, pre and post tests, storyboards, onlinechat logs, and exit interviews were used to triangulate findings. Results indicate that therelaxed freedom youth experienced when mentored by college student facilitators wasconducive to learning, and that the environmental/energy context was also motivating.Significant gains were made in science content knowledge and attitudes toward STEM.Curriculum modifications were made as modules were repeated, so that the curriculummore fully addressed the after-school environment and the studio model. This workshould be of interest to the ASEE K-12 Division, as engineering design curriculum andactivities will be more frequently used as a result of the Next Generation ScienceStandards. More schools are adopting the STEM framework for curriculum developmentand implementation, with engineering being a key component. Studio STEM is at theforefront of this movement and is a model for STEM integration in informal settings.
Schnittka, C. (2014, June), Curriculum Exchange: Studio STEM, Engineering After School Paper presented at 2014 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, Indianapolis, Indiana. 10.18260/1-2--20239
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