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Exploring Parents’ Knowledge and Awareness of Engineering through Middle School Students’ Summer Camps

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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

STEM Issues

Tagged Division

Engineering Technology

Tagged Topic

Diversity

Page Count

15

Permanent URL

https://peer.asee.org/32809

Download Count

6

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Paper Authors

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Emel Cevik Texas A&M University

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Michael Johnson Texas A&M University Orcid 16x16 orcid.org/0000-0001-5328-8763

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Dr. Michael D. Johnson is an associate professor in the Department of Engineering Technology and Industrial Distribution at Texas A&M University. Prior to joining the faculty at Texas A&M, he was a senior product development engineer at the 3M Corporate Research Laboratory in St. Paul, Minnesota. He received his B.S. in mechanical engineering from Michigan State University and his S.M. and Ph.D. from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Dr. Johnson’s research focuses on design tools; specifically, the cost modeling and analysis of product development and manufacturing systems; computer-aided design methodology; and engineering education.

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Bugrahan Yalvac Texas A&M University

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Bugrahan Yalvac is an associate professor of science and engineering education in the Department of Teaching, Learning, and Culture at Texas A&M University, College Station. He received his Ph.D. in science education at the Pennsylvania State University in 2005. Prior to his current position, he worked as a learning scientist for the VaNTH Engineering Research Center at Northwestern University for three years. Yalvac’s research is in STEM education, 21st century skills, and design and evaluation of learning environments informed by the How People Learn framework. His research has being supported by NSF, IES, and NIH.

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Mathew Kuttolamadom Texas A&M University Orcid 16x16 orcid.org/0000-0002-3627-4885

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Dr. Mathew Kuttolamadom is an associate professor in the Department of Engineering Technology & Industrial Distribution and the Department of Materials Science & Engineering at Texas A&M University. He received his Ph.D. in Materials Science & Engineering from Clemson University’s Int'l Center for Automotive Research. His professional experience is in the automotive industry including at the Ford Motor Company. At TAMU, he teaches Mechanics, Manufacturing and Mechanical Design to his students. His research thrusts include bioinspired functionally-graded composites, additive/subtractive manufacturing processes, laser surface texturing, tribology, visuo-haptic VR/AR interfaces and engineering education.

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Jennifer Whitfield Texas A&M University

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Dr. Jennifer Whitfield received her Ph.D. in Curriculum and Instruction with an emphasis in Mathematics Education in 2017. Her M.S. and B.A are both in Mathematics. She joined the Mathematics Department at Texas A&M University as a Senior Lecturer in 2001. Dr. Whitfield has taught 13 different undergraduate and three graduate mathematics courses. She helped develop the Personalized Precalculus Program, has overseen the operations of the Math Placement Exam, is the Associate Director of the Center for Technology Mediated Instruction, Director of aggieTEACH, and has been instrumental in developing online math courses. Dr. Whitfield's research focuses on secondary mathematics teacher preparation and the effects of scholarships for high school science and math teachers. She has received over $2.2 million in external funding from the National Science Foundation and over $3.6 million in funding from other state, university, or private agencies. Dr. Whitfield has co-authored two peer-reviewed journal articles, one book chapter, and is the co-editor of a book. She has chaired six masters' committees and served on four others. Dr. Whitfield has received ten awards including the Distinguished Ph.D. Honor Graduate in 2017, Texas A&M Chancellor's Academy of Teacher Educators Award in 2014, and was an A&M Fish Camp Namesake in 2013.

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Jay R. Porter Texas A&M University

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Jay R. Porter joined the Department of Engineering Technology and Industrial Distribution at Texas A&M University in 1998 and is currently the Associate Dean for Engineering at Texas A&M - Galveston. He received the BS degree in electrical engineering (1987), the MS degree in physics (1989), and the Ph.D. in electrical engineering (1993) from Texas A&M University. His areas of interest in research and education include product development, analog/RF electronics, instrumentation, and entrepreneurship.

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Joseph A. Morgan Texas A&M University

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Joseph A. Morgan has over 20 years of military and industry experience in electronics and communications systems engineering. He joined the Engineering Technology and Industrial Distribution Department in 1989 and has served as the Program Director of the Electronics and Telecommunications Programs and as the Associate Department Head for Operations. He has served as Director of Engineering and Chief Technology Officer in the private sector and currently a partner in a small start-up venture. He received his BS degree in electrical engineering (1975) from California State University, Sacramento, and his MS (1980) and DE (1983) degrees in industrial engineering from Texas A&M University. His education and research interests include project management, innovation and entrepreneurship, and embedded product/system development.

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Abstract

Increasing student interest in science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) is a recurring theme among the research community. The goal of these efforts is to create the next generation of diverse STEM professionals. Similarly, reform efforts have also focused on improving the quality of STEM education. While students’ interests in engineering disciplines are shaped by a variety of factors, parents play a substantial role in enhancing children’s interest. It is critical to understand parents’ knowledge and awareness of the engineering concepts that will translate into their attitudes toward engineering. Parents’ attitudes have a direct impact on students’ attitudes toward engineering.

In this study, 32 middle-school student parents’ knowledge and awareness with regards to engineering and engineering concepts are examined. Specifically, parents’ knowledge of building automation and the Internet of Things (IoT) are explored. Data were collected at four different summer camps. In a three year long and NSF funded project, a research team of engineers and learning scientists designed four summer camps for middle grade students and implemented them in two different cities in Texas. At these camps, that each lasted one week, students planned, designed, and established a “Smart Home” by using 3D printers, computer-aided design (CAD) tools, and the IoT technologies. Parents were involved in the summer camp activities at different occasions. For example, parents brainstormed with their children and conducted research with them to complete the take-home assignments on engineering concepts and cutting edge technologies. Parents participated in the STEM Competition Night where the student groups presented their smart homes and their engineering designs.

To explore parents’ knowledge and awareness of the engineering concepts, the Parents’ Engineering Awareness Survey (PEAS) was administered to all parents who consented to participate. The PEAS survey included three constructs; engineering knowledge, attitudes toward engineering, and engineering behavior. The survey was a five-point Likert-scale instrument with twenty-five items. Eight items of the PEAS instrument focused on engineering knowledge. Ten items focused on attitudes toward engineering. Seven items focused on engineering behavior. This work reports the descriptive and inferential quantitative findings and meaningful correlations that emerged among the parents’ knowledge and awareness of engineering and their students’ summer camp learning experiences and outcomes. Because this study explores’ parents’ knowledge and awareness of engineering concepts, it is unique and has the potential to generate new questions in engineering education research.

Cevik, E., & Johnson, M., & Yalvac, B., & Kuttolamadom, M., & Whitfield, J., & Porter, J. R., & Morgan, J. A. (2019, June), Exploring Parents’ Knowledge and Awareness of Engineering through Middle School Students’ Summer Camps Paper presented at 2019 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition , Tampa, Florida. https://peer.asee.org/32809

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