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Examining the Personal Nature of the K-14 Engineering Pipeline for Young Women

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2017 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition


Columbus, Ohio

Publication Date

June 24, 2017

Start Date

June 24, 2017

End Date

June 28, 2017

Conference Session

Women in Engineering Division Technical Session 1

Tagged Division

Women in Engineering

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Paper Authors


Jennifer S Gurski Drexel University Orcid 16x16

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Drexel University, School of Education June 2016
Principal Investigator: Penny Hammrich
Dissertation: Examining the Personal Nature of the K-14 Engineering Pipeline for Young Women

Danville Area School District, Danville, PA
Director e-Learning Cyber Academy, AEDY & Home School Education 2013-present
e-Learning Program Design and Implementation grades 6-12
Danville Area School District, Danville, PA
Assistant High School Principal 2009-2013

Immaculata University, Immaculata, PA
College of Graduate Studies, Adjunct Instructor
Methods of Research
January 2017-Present

Touro College, New York, NY
Graduate School of Education, Adjunct Instructor
Principles of Science and Technology Instruction for Students with Disabilities, Grades 7-12
January 2017-Present

Morningside College, Sioux City, IA
Sharon Walker School of Education, Graduate Studies
STEM Course Developer, Data Lab Instructor
January 2017-Present

Shikellamy School District, Sunbury, PA
Biology Teacher grades 9-10, Classrooms of the Future Instructor, Alternative Education Science Instructor 2003-2009

North Schuylkill School District, Ashland, PA
Biology, Life Science, Honors Biology, Anatomy and Physiology grades 7-12 2003

Our Lady of Lourdes Regional High School, Coal Township, PA
Biology, Honors Biology, Ecology grades 9-12 2002-2003
Developed syllabus and overall course structure of honors Biology courses

Drexel University, Philadelphia, PA
Ed. D. Education Leadership and Management 2016
Concentration: Higher Education Administration
Dissertation: Examining the personal nature of the K-14 engineering pipeline for young women

University Of Scranton, Scranton, PA
M.S. Ed. Leadership 2009
Principal K-12 Certification, Education Leadership
Honors: Deans List

Susquehanna University
Teacher Intern Program; Secondary Education Science 2002
Biology Certification, 7-12
Honors: Deans List

Pennsylvania State University, University Park, PA
B.S. Exercise and Sports Science 1997
Honors: Deans List
Athletics: Varsity Cheerleading

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Penny Louise Hammrich Drexel Univeristy

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Penny L. Hammrich. Dr. Hammrich is a Professor in the School of Education at Drexel University specializing in Science Education and also the Associate Dean of Graduate Studies in the School of Education. Previously, Dr. Hammrich was a Professor and the Dean of the School of Education at Queens College of the City University of New York (CUNY) and Professor of Urban Education and Educational Psychology at CUNY Graduate Center. Dr. Hammrich was also a Professor and Associate Dean of Research at Temple University and a K-12 school-teacher. In the past 20 years she has been the Principal Investigator on over 35 research grants totaling over 30 million dollars. Dr. Hammrich has published more than 150 articles, 5 science laboratory manuals for college level biology courses, 26 science curriculum manuals, 6 chapters in books, edited 14 articles, written 75 government and technical reports, cited in the media over 100 times, and made over 500 national and international presentations. Dr. Hammrich’s research has been nationally recognized over the years by such organizations as the American Association of University Women, Association of Science Teacher Education, National Science Foundation, U.S. Department of Education and National Public Radio.

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This mixed-methods research study examined young women’s perceptions of their K-14 STEM pipeline experiences and their resulting choice to enter and persist in an engineering major. Despite the increase of women in the STEM workforce, women remain underrepresented among engineering majors (Beasley & Fischer, 2012; Heilbronner, 2012; Neihart & Teo, 2013). Few studies exist that utilize a retrospective approach to understand how the culmination of young women’s K-14 experiences have influenced their formation of individually held perceptions that lead to engineering persistence. It is this study’s aim to utilize a mixed-methods approach to answer the following research question: How do young women’s perceptions of their K-14 STEM experiences influence their decision to enroll and persist in an engineering major? These perceptions are explored through an ethnographic approach focusing on young women enrolled in engineering programs during their junior and senior years of study at a small private liberal arts university with eight engineering majors. The mixed-methods approach follows a sequential design method (Creswell, 2013) and utilizes questions in a quantitative Likert-type survey from the Academic Pathways for People Learning Engineering (APPLES) survey (Eris, Chachra, Chen, Sheppard, & Ludlow, 2010) and the Motivated Strategy Learning Questionnaire (MSLQ) (Pintrich, Smith, Garcia, & McKeachie, 1991). The quantitative study results will lead to the development of open-ended, structured questions for conducting a qualitative focus group. Anonymity of all participants is maintained.

Keywords: STEM, young women, perceptions, pipeline, intervention, underrepresentation, engineering, persistence, retrospective, self-efficacy

Gurski, J. S., & Hammrich, P. L. (2017, June), Examining the Personal Nature of the K-14 Engineering Pipeline for Young Women Paper presented at 2017 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, Columbus, Ohio. 10.18260/1-2--28320

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