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Developing Engineering Proficiency and Self-Efficacy Through a Middle School Engineering Course (Fundamental)

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Conference

2018 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition

Location

Salt Lake City, Utah

Publication Date

June 23, 2018

Start Date

June 23, 2018

End Date

July 27, 2018

Conference Session

Middle School Students' Engineering Identity, Efficacy, Attitudes, and Perceptions

Tagged Division

Pre-College Engineering Education

Page Count

20

Permanent URL

https://peer.asee.org/30306

Download Count

30

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Paper Authors

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Jessica D. Gale Georgia Institute of Technology Orcid 16x16 orcid.org/0000-0002-7361-3612

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Dr. Jessica Gale is a Research Scientist II at Georgia Tech's Center for education Integrating Science, Mathematics, and Computing (CEISMC). Her research focuses on and often connects a range of topics within STEM/STEAM education including, engineering and STEM integration at the elementary and middle grades levels, project-based learning across STEM disciplines, college and career readiness, design-based implementation research, and STEM student and teacher self-efficacy. She received her B.A. from Pomona College and her M.A. and Ph.D. in Educational Studies from Emory University.

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Meltem Alemdar Georgia Institute of Technology

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Meltem Alemdar (PhD) is Associate Director and Senior Research Scientist at Georgia Institute of Technology’s Center for Education Integrating Science, Mathematics and Computing (CEISMC). Her research focuses on improving K-12 STEM education through research on curriculum development, teacher professional development, and student learning in integrated STEM environments. Dr. Alemdar is currently co-PI for research on various NSF funded projects. In addition, she has been external evaluator for various NSF Projects over the past nine years. Her expertise includes program evaluation, social network analysis and quantitative methods such as Hierarchical Linear Modeling, and Structure Equation Modeling. As part of an NSF funded project, she directs a longitudinal study that focuses on measuring engineering curriculum impact on student learning and 21st Century skills. She also has directed a large multi-year multi-institutional social network analysis study to measure changing collaboration patterns among program investigators as a part of a NIH funded grant. She received her Ph.D. in Educational Policy, with a concentration in Research, Measurement, and Statistics, from Georgia State University.

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Jeremy Lingle Georgia Institute of Technology

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Dr. Jeremy Lingle is a Senior Research Faculty at the Center for Education Integrating Science, Mathematics, & Computing (CEISMC) at the Georgia Institute of Technology. He received his Ph.D. in Educational Policy Studies in Research, Measurement, and Statistics in 2010 from Georgia State University. His primary research focus is upon STEM integration in K-12 education and program evaluation.

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Sunni Haag Newton Georgia Institute of Technology

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Sunni Newton is currently a Research Associate II at the Georgia Institute of Technology in the Center for Education Integrating Science, Mathematics, and Computing (CEISMC). Her research focuses on assessing the implementation and outcomes of educational interventions at the K-12 and collegiate levels. She received her MS and Ph.D. in Industrial/Organizational Psychology from Georgia Tech in 2009 and 2013, respectively. She received her BS from Georgia Tech in 2006, double-majoring in Psychology and Management.

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Roxanne A. Moore Georgia Institute of Technology

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Roxanne Moore is currently a Research Faculty member at Georgia Tech with appointments in the school of Mechanical Engineering and the Center for Education Integrating Mathematics, Science, and Computing (CEISMC). She is involved with engineering education innovations from K-12 up to the collegiate level. She received her Ph.D. in Mechanical Engineering from Georgia Tech in 2012.

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Jeffrey H. Rosen Georgia Institute of Technology

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After 14 years in the middle and high school math and engineering classroom where Mr. Rosen was working on the integration of engineering and robotics into the teaching of the core curricula classrooms. He has now been at Georgia Tech's CEISMC for the past 10 years working on curriculum development and research on authentic STEM instruction and directing the state's FIRST LEGO League competition program. Mr. Rosen has authored or co-authored papers and book chapters that address issues of underrepresented populations participation in engineering programs and the integration of robotics and engineering into classroom instruction.

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Abstract

As part of a National Science Foundation Math Science Partnership, semester- long 6th through 8th grade engineering courses engage students engineering design challenges intended to foster understanding of the engineering design process while reinforcing mathematics and science content. Sixth grade students explore data collection, experimental design, sketching, prototyping, statistical analysis, and communication as they complete a challenge involving the design and testing of a new carnival game. Seventh grade students complete a project with an aerospace engineering focus in which they re-design the interior cabin and airplane shape to make more fuel-efficient, comfortable, and profitable airplanes. Eighth grade students participate in a robotics challenge in which they use 3D modeling software to design, prototype, and test “feet” for a walking insect-bot. This study builds on previous work exploring students’ perspectives on the engineering course to explore the development of proficiency with the engineering design process and engineering self-efficacy among a sample students (N=6) who participated in two of the semester-long engineering courses over a two-year period. Using a case study approach, the study triangulates interview, assessment, and student artifact data to trace the development of students’ understanding and application of the engineering design process. Drawing on social cognitive theory the study also explores whether students’ descriptions of their course experiences indicate possible changes in engineering self-efficacy. The study addresses the following research questions: • To what extent and in what ways do students’ descriptions of the engineering design process change over multiple experiences with the engineering course? • What do students’ descriptions of their experiences in the engineering course reveal about changes in their engineering self-efficacy and the sources of their engineering self-efficacy? Semi-structured interviews were conducted in order to explore students experiences with the engineering design process and any related changes in engineering self-efficacy. Preliminary results suggest an increasing sophistication in students’ descriptions of the engineering design process over multiple years in engineering courses. To varying degrees, students’ also highlight mastery experiences within the engineering classroom that may serve as important sources of engineering self-efficacy.

Gale, J. D., & Alemdar, M., & Lingle, J., & Newton, S. H., & Moore, R. A., & Rosen, J. H. (2018, June), Developing Engineering Proficiency and Self-Efficacy Through a Middle School Engineering Course (Fundamental) Paper presented at 2018 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition , Salt Lake City, Utah. https://peer.asee.org/30306

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