June 26, 2011
June 26, 2011
June 29, 2011
K-12 & Pre-College Engineering
22.552.1 - 22.552.12
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. 10.18260/1-2--17833
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