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Elementary Students’ Perceptions of Engineers

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Conference

2011 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition

Location

Vancouver, BC

Publication Date

June 26, 2011

Start Date

June 26, 2011

End Date

June 29, 2011

ISSN

2153-5965

Conference Session

Research Related to Learning and Teaching Engineering in Elementary Classrooms

Tagged Division

K-12 & Pre-College Engineering

Page Count

12

Page Numbers

22.552.1 - 22.552.12

Permanent URL

https://peer.asee.org/17833

Download Count

67

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Paper Authors

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Stephanie Rivale University of Colorado, Boulder

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Stephanie Rivale is the Director of K-12 Engineering Education at the University of Colorado at Boulder. She received her Ph.D. in STEM Education at the University of Texas. She received her B.S. in Chemical Engineering at the University of Rochester and her M.S. in Chemical Engineering at the University of Colorado. She has collaborated on engineering education research with both the VaNTH Engineering Research Center and UTeachEngineering. Dr. Rivale’s research uses recent advances in our understanding of how people learn to evaluate and improve student learning in college and K-12 engineering classrooms. Her work also focuses on improving access and equity for women and students of color in STEM fields.

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Janet Yowell University of Colorado, Boulder

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Janet Yowell is the Associate Director of K-12 Engineering Education at the University of Colorado’s Integrated Teaching and Learning Laboratory. Involved in the College’s outreach initiative since 2000, she oversees the ambitious K-12 engineering initiative, including the capacity-building and school partnership programs. She is a collaborator on the NSF-funded TEAMS Program (Tomorrow's Engineers... creAte. iMagine. Succeed.) and the TeachEngineering digital library for which she is a contributing curriculum writer and editor.

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Jayne Aiken University of Colorado, Boulder

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Jayne Aiken is a junior in Chemical and Biological Engineering at the University of Colorado, Boulder. She is interested in how students view and understand engineering and its complexities. She most enjoyed finding trends in the qualitative data during this research experience.

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Sweta Adhikary University of Colorado, Boulder

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Sweta Adhikary is a freshman at the University of Colorado, Boulder. She is interested in Neuroscience and Integrative Physiology. She most enjoyed learning about the differences in girls and boys regarding their perception of engineers.

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Daniel Knight University of Colorado, Boulder

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Daniel W. Knight is the engineering assessment specialist at the Integrated Teaching and Learning Program (ITLL) and the Broadening Opportunity through Leadership and Diversity (BOLD) Center in CU’s College of Engineering and Applied Science. He holds a B.A. in psychology from the Louisiana State University, and an M.S. degree in industrial/organizational psychology and a Ph.D. degree in counseling psychology, both from the University of Tennessee. Dr. Knight’s research interests are in the areas of retention, program evaluation and teamwork practices in engineering education. His current duties include assessment, evaluation and research for the ITL Program’s and BOLD Center's hands-on initiatives.

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Jacquelyn F. Sullivan University of Colorado, Boulder

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Jacquelyn F. Sullivan is founding Co-Director of the Integrated Teaching and Learning Program, and Associate Dean for Inclusive Excellence at the University of Colorado at Boulder’s College of Engineering and Applied Science. She received her Ph.D. in environmental health physics and toxicology from Purdue University and held leadership positions in the energy and software industries for 13 years. She founded and leads CU’s extensive K-12 Engineering Initiative and spearheaded the Engineering GoldShirt Program. In 2004, she founded the ASEE K-12 Division and in 2008 received NAE’s Gordon Prize for Innovation in Engineering and Technology Education.

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Abstract

Elementary Students’ Perceptions of Engineers: Using a Draw-an-Engineer Test to evaluate the impact of classroom engineering experiences and explicit engineering messagingAn 11-year university/public school district partnership was formed to increase the awareness ofengineering and its opportunities for K-12 students, regardless of circumstance, with the goal ofbroadening participation for populations underrepresented in engineering. As part of thispartnership, graduate engineering teaching fellows teach weekly hands-on engineering activitiesand lessons designed to help students: (1) understand the role that engineers play in meeting theneeds and dreams of society, (2) draw connections to meaningful applications of science, mathand technology, and (3) become motivated to create a bright future for themselves throughengineering and technology. Following the release of the National Academy of Engineering’sChanging the Conversation study, the program began implementing explicit engineeringmessaging training strategies, such as a presentation on the role engineers play in improvingsociety and highlighting the use of creativity and imagination.This study evaluates pre-post elementary student perceptions of engineering utilizing a Draw-an-Engineer Test (DAET) methodology adapted from previous Draw-a-Scientist Test (DAST)studies for four cohorts of fifth grade students (n>1200). (Finson et al., 1995; Finson, 2002;Knight & Cunningham, 2004) Two of the cohorts experienced the in-class engineeringinstruction prior to the addition of the messaging intervention, and two cohorts were exposed tothe intervention as part of their in-class instruction. Thus, a 2 X 2 study design has beenemployed to test both the impact of the overall elementary program and the messagingintervention impact on student perceptions of engineering. Although previous research hasaddressed student perceptions of engineering with similar populations (Knight & Cunningham,2004), this study adds to the literature base by testing explicit messaging intervention strategiesaimed at altering perceptions.This study addresses the following three research questions: (1) Are student perceptions ofengineering consistent with previous DAET studies? (2) Does program participation impactstudent perceptions of engineering? (3) Do the NAE messaging interventions impact studentperceptions of engineering? Student drawings are being coded using open-coding techniques.(Corbin & Strauss, 2008) Inter-rater reliability will be established using a sample of 10% of thedata corpus. The themes identified during open coding will be compared to those identified inprevious DAET studies.ReferencesCorbin , J. and Strauss, A. (2008). Basics of Qualitative Research (3rd ed.). Thousand Oaks, CA:Sage Publishing.Finson, K.D. (2002) "Drawing a Scientist: What We Do and Do Not Know After Fifty Years ofDrawings." School Science and Mathematics, 102(7): p. 335-345.Finson, K., J. Beaver, and B. Cramond. (1995) "Development and field test of a checklist for theDraw-A-Scientist test." School Science and Mathematics, 1995. 95(4): p. 195-205.Knight, M. and Cunningham, C. (2004) Draw an Engineer Test (DAET): Development of a Toolto Investigate Students’ Ideas about Engineers and Engineering. Proceedings paper presented atthe American Society of Engineering Education Annual Meeting & Exposition, Salt Lake City,UT.

Rivale, S., & Yowell, J., & Aiken, J., & Adhikary, S., & Knight, D., & Sullivan, J. F. (2011, June), Elementary Students’ Perceptions of Engineers Paper presented at 2011 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, Vancouver, BC. https://peer.asee.org/17833

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