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Draw An Engineer: Development Of A Tool To Investigate Students’ Ideas About Engineers And Engineering

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Conference

2004 Annual Conference

Location

Salt Lake City, Utah

Publication Date

June 20, 2004

Start Date

June 20, 2004

End Date

June 23, 2004

ISSN

2153-5965

Conference Session

K-12 Outreach Initiatives

Page Count

11

Page Numbers

9.482.1 - 9.482.11

Permanent URL

https://peer.asee.org/12831

Download Count

100

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Paper Authors

author page

Meredith Knight

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Abstract
NOTE: The first page of text has been automatically extracted and included below in lieu of an abstract

Session 2530

Draw an Engineer Test (DAET): Development of a Tool to Investigate Students’ Ideas about Engineers and Engineering

Meredith Knight, Christine Cunningham

Tufts University/ Museum of Science, Boston

Abstract

The public has an incomplete understanding of engineers and engineering as a profession. In discussions about the public’s understanding of engineers, many have referenced the “conventional” stereotype of engineers as train operators. Though this stereotype may exist among students as well as the public, few investigations to date have focused on students’ ideas about engineers and engineering. The recent introduction of engineering into the K-12 curriculum in Massachusetts has increased interest among educators in assessing students’ knowledge of engineering as a result of intervention and outreach. The “Draw a Scientist Test” (DAST) has been widely used to assess students’ attitudes about scientists. To help assess students’ ideas about engineering before and after intervention, we are developing a “Draw an Engineer Test” (DAET). This analysis focuses on the results of the pilot study of students’ written and drawn responses to the question “What does an engineer do?”

Introduction

Images shape the way individuals view the world, thus, understanding the image students have of engineers and engineering is extremely important. The public has an incomplete understanding of engineers and engineering as a profession [1, 2]. In discussions about the public’s understanding of engineers, many reference the “conventional” stereotype of engineers as train operators [3, 4]. Though this stereotype may exist among students as well as the public, few investigations to date have focused on students’ ideas about engineers and engineering. The recent introduction of engineering into the K-12 curriculum in Massachusetts has increased interest among educators in assessing students’ knowledge of engineering.

Though we are surrounded by the products of engineering in our everyday lives, students often don’t understand what engineers do [2]. Few students come in contact with working engineers, thus students’ ideas about engineering are formed from other sources, such as the media. In his review of the depiction of engineering in popular culture, Vaughan outlined the degeneration of the image of the engineer in modern society from the heroes depicted in books such as Jules Verne’s Mysterious Island to the modern day caricatures in Revenge of the Nerds [5]. The depiction of engineering in the media is

Proceedings of the 2004 American Society for Engineering Education Annual Conference & Exposition Copyright © 2004, American Society for Engineering Education

Knight, M., & Cunningham, C. (2004, June), Draw An Engineer: Development Of A Tool To Investigate Students’ Ideas About Engineers And Engineering Paper presented at 2004 Annual Conference, Salt Lake City, Utah. https://peer.asee.org/12831

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