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Developing Middle School Students' Engineering Design Concepts through Toy Design Workshop (Fundamental)

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Conference

2016 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition

Location

New Orleans, Louisiana

Publication Date

June 26, 2016

Start Date

June 26, 2016

End Date

August 28, 2016

ISBN

978-0-692-68565-5

ISSN

2153-5965

Conference Session

K-12 & Pre-College Engineering Division: Fundamental; K-12 Students & Engineering Division: Fundamental; K-12 Students & Engineering Design Practices: Best Paper Session

Tagged Division

Pre-College Engineering Education Division

Page Count

18

DOI

10.18260/p.27291

Permanent URL

https://peer.asee.org/27291

Download Count

274

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Paper Authors

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Ninger Zhou Purdue University

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Tarun Thomas George Purdue University

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Joran W. Booth Purdue University

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Joran Booth is a graduate student at Purdue University, studying visual thinking and abstraction in design.

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Jeffrey Alperovich Purdue University

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Senthil Chandrasegaran Purdue University

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Senthil Chandrasegaran is a PhD candidate in the School of Mechanical Engineering at Purdue. He obtained his bachelor's degree in mechanical engineering in from the Regional Engineering College (now National Institute of Technology), Trichy, India. Before starting graduate school, he worked in the automotive industry, specializing in interior trim design, and then in the heavy engineering industry, specializing in structural analysis and knowledge-based engineering. His research interests include design pedagogy, information visualization, and specifically the integration of computer support tools to aid and understand design learning in the classroom.

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Nielsen L. Pereira Purdue University

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Nielsen Pereira is an Assistant Professor of Gifted, Creative, and Talented Studies at Purdue University. His research interests include the design and assessment of learning in varied gifted and talented education contexts, understanding gifted and talented student experiences in talent development programs in and out of school, and conceptual and measurement issues in the identification of gifted and talented populations.

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Jeffrey David Tew Ph.D.

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Devaatta Nadgukar Kulkaerni

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Karthik Ramani

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Karthik Ramani is a Professor in the School of Mechanical Engineering at Purdue University. He earned his B.Tech from the Indian Institute of Technology, Madras, in 1985, an MS from Ohio State University, in 1987, and a Ph.D. from Stanford University in 1991, all in Mechanical Engineering. Among his many awards he received the National Science Foundation (NSF) Research Initiation Award, the NSF CAREER Award, the Ralph Teetor Educational Award from the SAE, and the Outstanding Young Manufacturing Engineer Award from SME. In 2006 he won the innovation of the year award from the State of Indiana. He serves in the editorial board of Elsevier Journal of Computer-Aided Design and ASME Journal of Mechanical Design. In 2008 he was a visiting Professor at Stanford University (computer sciences) as well as a research fellow at PARC (formerly Xerox PARC). He also serves on the Engineering Advisory sub-committee for the NSF IIP (Industrial Innovation and Partnerships). In 2006 and 2007, he won the Most Cited Journal Paper award from Computer-Aided Design and the Research Excellence award in the College of Engineering at Purdue University. In 2009, he won the Outstanding Commercialization award from Purdue University and the ASME Best Paper Award from technical committees twice at the IDETC. In 2012 his labs paper won the all conference best paper award from ASME-CIE for “Handy Potter”.

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Abstract

In this study, we examined the development of middle school students’ engineering design thinking in a toy design workshop. The introduction of engineering design modules in middle school has been shown to aid understanding of scientific concepts and design thinking. Additionally, using concrete objects to augment abstract concepts and symbols has also been shown to increase students' understanding and application of engineering design concepts. However, traditional classrooms continue to lack hands-on engineering design experiences that allow students to ground their thinking with concrete objects, leaving students unprepared to solve real-world design problems. Therefore, in this study, we structured a toy design workshop to develop middle school students’ engineering design thinking and improve their self-efficacy in engineering design. The workshop ran daily three-hour sessions for two weeks. In these, students worked in groups to design and build toy-like design products, such as marshmallow towers, trebuchets, and fan boats. We addressed the following research questions: (1) What is the influence of the toy design workshop on students' self-efficacy? (2) What is the influence of the toy design workshop on students' understanding of engineering design concepts? To address the first question, we distributed the engineering design self-efficacy survey before and after the two-week toy design workshop. Using a paired sample t-test, we found that students’ ratings on the post-survey was significantly higher than on the pre survey, indicating that the workshop improved the students’ self-efficacy in engineering design. To address the second research question on students’ understanding of engineering design and physics concepts, we developed video protocols and analyzed the video recordings of the design sessions. Using the protocols, we identified students’ development in conducting “plan-build-test” design cycles in different activities throughout the workshop. This research demonstrates research tools such as self-efficacy surveys for probing middle school students’ change in efficacy beliefs in engineering design, as well as observation analysis protocols for identifying how middle school students developed in conducting iterative design cycles. Findings from this research provides insights into the processes involved in middle school students’ engineering design learning and the benefits of engaging middle school students in hands-on toy design workshops.

Zhou, N., & George, T. T., & Booth, J. W., & Alperovich, J., & Chandrasegaran, S., & Pereira, N. L., & Tew, J. D., & Kulkaerni, D. N., & Ramani, K. (2016, June), Developing Middle School Students' Engineering Design Concepts through Toy Design Workshop (Fundamental) Paper presented at 2016 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, New Orleans, Louisiana. 10.18260/p.27291

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