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Design, Implementation, and Assessment of an After-School Engineering Program for Deaf Students

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2016 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition


New Orleans, Louisiana

Publication Date

June 26, 2016

Start Date

June 26, 2016

End Date

August 28, 2016





Conference Session

K-12 & Pre-College Engineering Division: Diversity Issues in K-12 and Pre-College Engineering Education

Tagged Division

Pre-College Engineering Education Division

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Paper Authors

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Brynn Kasper University of St. Thomas


Alison Haugh University of St. Thomas

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Alison Haugh is in the third year of her studies at the University of St. Thomas, Majoring in Elementary Education and STEM Education,while Minoring in Engineering Education. Her undergraduate Playful Learning Lab research is focused on expanding quality engineering education with an eye to under-served populations, including students with disabilities. Alison is the Lead STEPS (Science, Technology and Engineering Preview program) curriculum constructor, lead trainer and lead on-site researcher. Additionally, Alison assists on and leads after-school engineering clubs at schools near the University.

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Noah Kasper University of St. Thomas

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Sophomore at the University of St. Thomas studying Mechanical Engineering.

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Brett D. Gunderson University of St. Thomas


AnnMarie Polsenberg Thomas University of St. Thomas

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AnnMarie Thomas is a professor in the School of Engineering and the College of Business at the University of St. Thomas where she is the director of the Playful Learning Lab, which focuses on engineering and design education for learners of all ages. AnnMarie is the co-founder, and former director, of the UST Center for Engineering Education.

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Deborah Besser P.E. University of St. Thomas

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Dr. Besser, who holds a PhD in education and MS and BS in civil engineering, entered the K-12 education realm designing, implementing and researching K-12 engineering education programs. Currently, she is the director of University of St. Thomas Center for Engineering Education; and she teaches engineering education and engineering courses. Previous experience includes faculty positions in diverse universities where she has taught a variety of coursework ranging from engineering education to structural systems to engineering economy. 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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The Engineering Exploration program for deaf and hard-of-hearing students at Metro Deaf School exposes middle school after-school program participants to engineering disciplines and concepts while integrating the Next Generation Science Standards into the program’s curriculum. This project began in the spring of 2014 with a short pilot of four two-hour long sessions, all focused on Creative Circuitry and sewable/wearable circuits. This paper will focus on the Engineering Exploration program of fall 2015 which consisted of six weekly, two-hour sessions, and a new engineering challenge every week. We present the results of our surveys and observations evaluating the effectiveness of the program in teaching the engineering design process, different engineering disciplines, and attitudes toward the field of Engineering.

Kasper, B., & Haugh, A., & Kasper, N., & Gunderson, B. D., & Thomas, A. P., & Besser, D. (2016, June), Design, Implementation, and Assessment of an After-School Engineering Program for Deaf Students Paper presented at 2016 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, New Orleans, Louisiana. 10.18260/p.26688

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