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Engineering Interest and Attitude Development In Out-of-School Time

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Conference

2019 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition

Location

Tampa, Florida

Publication Date

June 15, 2019

Start Date

June 15, 2019

End Date

June 19, 2019

Conference Session

Best Practices in Out-of-School Time

Tagged Division

Pre-College Engineering Education

Tagged Topic

Diversity

Page Count

16

DOI

10.18260/1-2--32728

Permanent URL

https://peer.asee.org/32728

Download Count

290

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Paper Authors

biography

Chris San Antonio-Tunis Museum of Science, Boston

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Chris is a research program manager for Engineering is Elementary (EiE) at the Museum of Science, Boston. In this role, Chris works collaboratively with EiE project leaders to align their project goals, with effective evaluation strategies. He designs data collection instruments, supports data collection processes and manages the analysis of evaluation data so that EiE can make evidence-based improvements to its offerings. Prior to joining EiE, Chris worked as a high school transition counselor and outdoor adventure trip leader. He holds an M.Ed in Education Research from the Harvard Graduate School of Education.

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Joelle Clark Northern Arizona University

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Joelle Clark is Principal Investigator of PLANETS (Planetary Learning that Advances the Nexus of Engineering, Technology, and Science), a NASA-funded cooperative agreement (NNX16AC53A) with the Center for Science Teaching and Learning, Northern Arizona University where she also serves as the Associate Director for Professional Development Programs.

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Christine M. Cunningham Museum of Science, Boston Orcid 16x16 orcid.org/0000-0003-1922-7101

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Dr. Christine Cunningham is an educational researcher who works to make engineering and science more relevant, accessible, and understandable, especially for underserved and underrepresented populations. She is currently a Professor of Education and Engineering at Penn State University where she focuses on developing research-based, field-tested curricula, professional development, and research. For sixteen years, she worked as a vice president at the Museum of Science where she was the Founding Director of Engineering is Elementary, a groundbreaking program that integrates engineering concepts into preschool, elementary, and middle school curriculum and teacher professional development. Her recent book, Engineering in Elementary STEM Education, describes what she learned. Cunningham has previously served as director of engineering education research at the Tufts University Center for Engineering Educational Outreach, where her work focused on integrating engineering with science, technology, and math in professional development for K-12 teachers. She also directed the Women’s Experiences in College Engineering (WECE) project, the first national, longitudinal, large-scale study of the factors that support young women pursuing engineering degrees. At Cornell University, where she began her career, she created environmental science curricula and professional development. Cunningham has received a number of awards; in 2017 her work was recognized with the prestigious Harold W. McGraw Jr. Prize in Education. Cunningham holds joint B.A. and M.A. degrees in biology from Yale University and a Ph.D. in Science Education from Cornell University.

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Cathy P. Lachapelle Museum of Science, Boston

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Cathy Lachapelle leads the EiE team responsible for assessment and evaluation of our curricula. This includes the design and field-testing of assessment instruments and research on how children use EiE materials. Cathy is particularly interested in how collaborative interaction and scaffolded experiences with disciplinary practices help children learn science, math, and engineering. Her work on other STEM education research projects includes the national Women's Experiences in College Engineering (WECE) study. Cathy received her S.B. in cognitive science from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and her Ph.D. in educational psychology from Stanford University.

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Abstract

Since the inclusion of engineering in the Next Generation Science Standards, P-12 educators have been challenged to find high quality engineering curricula and instructional minutes to meet these expectations. Fortunately, afterschool and camp programs have recently increased their focus on STEM offerings and research suggests that participation in these Out-of-School Time (OST) activities can have positive impacts on school attendance, engagement and affiliation. Because OST programs play an important role in kids’ STEM education, additional research is warranted to better understand how OST activities may influence students’ attitudes toward, and affiliation with, STEM subjects. This paper examines how engaging with engineering in OST settings impacts students’ attitudes toward, and affiliation with, engineering. The data are drawn from four sites, two in the Northeastern United States and two in the Southwest, that implemented one of two hands-on engineering units in an OST program. Sites were both school-affiliated and non-school-affiliated and served both rural and urban middle-school-aged youth. A total of 53 youth and 4 educators participated in the engineering activities which focused on water resource engineering and remote sensing engineering and were developed through a collaboration with NASA. Each unit consists of eight 60-minute activities. All activities across the four sites were observed by research staff as well as video and audio recorded, with 96 hours of video data collected. Additional data collection consisted of a validated survey designed to measure student interest and attitudes in engineering, online educator surveys, educator interviews, student focus groups, and the collection of student engineering journals. Quantitative analysis of the student survey data indicate that exposure to engineering activities promotes an engineering identity and a positive attitude toward engineering among participating youth. Qualitative analysis of the video data, surveys, and interviews using event maps and discourse analysis suggests why and how students’ attitudes may change. The video demonstrate that during the engineering activities students have opportunities to engage in authentic engineering practices and habits of mind that help them build their knowledge of and affiliation with engineering. For example, in one activity students evaluate the properties of materials and discuss how those properties may affect the performance of their technology. In another activity, students test their design, collect data and make improvements based on this data. This paper explores these connections and discusses how specific components of the engineering activities facilitate the development of identity and engineering habits of mind. To date, there has been little research that has collected video data to explore how engineering learning and affiliation can occur in Out-of-School Time settings. This study advances the field’s understanding of the affordances of the OST setting by documenting how well-designed engineering challenges and activities can influence youth identity and ways of thinking.

San Antonio-Tunis, C., & Clark, J., & Cunningham, C. M., & Lachapelle, C. P. (2019, June), Engineering Interest and Attitude Development In Out-of-School Time Paper presented at 2019 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition , Tampa, Florida. 10.18260/1-2--32728

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