New Orleans, Louisiana
June 26, 2016
June 26, 2016
August 28, 2016
Pre-College Engineering Education Division
Recently, there has been a push to increase students' interest and attitudes in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) fields in the United States, particularly in engineering. The importance of STEM has been emphasized by numerous researchers (e.g., Cantrell, Pekcan, Itani, & Velasquez-Bryant, 2006; Hunter, 2006; Mayo, 2007; Sánchez & Olivares, 2011) along with several organizations (e.g., Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology [ABET], National Academy Press [NAE], Next Generation Science Standards [NGSS]). According to ABET Criteria, “the engineering sciences have their roots in mathematics and basic sciences but carry knowledge further toward creative application. These studies provide a bridge between mathematics and basic sciences on the one hand and engineering practice on the other. Engineering design is the process of devising a system, component, or process to meet desired needs. It is a process in which the basic sciences, mathematics, and the engineering sciences are applied to convert resources optimally to meet these stated needs." Likewise, a rocket project in the southern United States embraces adolescent students’ needs to have a project-based learning experiences designed to provide an opportunity to improve multidisciplinary domains (e.g. physics, mathematics, atmospheric science) teamwork, communication, project management, and problem solving skills, as well as, focusing on immersion in a STEM environment that will enhance life-long active learning. The purpose of this study is to refine and improve the STEM Interest Questionnaire (STEM IQ) instrument. This instrument was used a part of an evaluation of the Rocket Project. Four hundred and ninety two (n=492) participants answered this questionnaire about their experiences following the program’s annual major culminating event which the launching of rockets in May 2014. These students were positive about the experience. However, a preliminary analysis of the factor structure of the instrument indicates that the questionnaire items may not match the theoretical model that served as the frame for the instrument. Additionally, participants were extremely positive about the program, so the data are highly skewed. The main focus of this study in progress is to test and improve the psychometric properties and theoretical structure of the STEM IQ instrument by following a rigorous procedure for exploring the characteristics and attitudes of program participants via both EFA and confirmatory factor analysis (CFA). As a result of an EFA, the researcher retained four factors with eigenvalues greater than one based on Kaiser’s suggestion (1960). Out of 58 items, 22 items fall off, and 26 items remained and had a significant factor loadings onto one of the four factors with a factor loading greater than .40 as a cutoff factor loading (Steven, 2002) that designating each item’s distinctive influence to one of the factors. The first factor with items was labeled as Career (CR), second Learning Transfer (LT), third Teamwork (TW), and fourth Active Learning (AL) with 10, 7, 7, and 2 items, respectively. As extraction method, Principal Axis Factoring was used. In terms of Rotation method, Promax with Kaiser Normalization technique was used. The rotation converged in 6 iterations.
Yeter, I. H., & Burley, H., & Youngblood, T. D., & Williams, C. M. (2016, June), Developing a Questionnaire and Evaluation Methods for a High School Rocket Program Paper presented at 2016 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, New Orleans, Louisiana. 10.18260/p.26730
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