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Exploring the Impact of High School Engineering Exposure on Science Interests (Work in Progress)

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2021 ASEE Virtual Annual Conference Content Access


Virtual Conference

Publication Date

July 26, 2021

Start Date

July 26, 2021

End Date

July 19, 2022

Conference Session

Pre-College Engineering Education Division Poster Session

Tagged Division

Pre-College Engineering Education

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Paper Authors


Bailey Bond-Trittipo Florida International University

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Bailey Bond-Trittipo is an engineering and computing education Ph.D. student in the School of Universal Computing, Construction, and Engineering Education (SUCCEED) at Florida International University. She earned a B.S. in Physics in Mathematics from Butler University in December 2019 and began her Ph.D. studies the following fall semester. Her research interests center on racial and socioeconomic equity in secondary engineering education.

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Bruk T. Berhane Florida International University

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Dr. Bruk T. Berhane received his bachelor’s degree in electrical engineering from the University of Maryland in 2003. He then completed a master’s degree in engineering management at George Washington University in 2007. In 2016, he earned a Ph.D. in the Minority and Urban Education Unit of the College of Education at the University of Maryland.
Bruk worked at the Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory, where he focused on nanotechnology, from 2003 to 2005. In 2005 he left JHU/APL for a fellowship with the National Academies where he conducted research on methods of increasing the number of women in engineering. After a brief stint teaching mathematics in Baltimore City following his departure from the National Academies, he began working for the Center for Minorities in Science and Engineering (CMSE) in the Clark School of Engineering at the University of Maryland.
In 2011, he began working directly under the Office of the Dean in the Clark School, coordinating outreach and recruitment programs for the college. In 2016, he assumed the role of director of the Office of Undergraduate Recruitment and Scholarship Programs. His duties entailed working with prospective freshmen and transfer engineering students. In 2018, he transitioned to the role of Assistant Research Professor in the Department of Bioengineering at the Clark School. The following year, he began a position as an Assistant Professor in the School of Universal Computing, Construction, and Engineering Education (SUCCEED) and the STEM Transformation Institute at Florida International University.
Dr. Berhane's research interests transfer students who first enroll in community colleges, as well as developing broader and more nuanced engineering performance indicators.

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Eunsil Lee Florida International University Orcid 16x16

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Eunsil Lee is a postdoctoral associate in School of Universal Computing, Construction, and Engineering Education and the STEM Transformation Institute at Florida International University (FIU). At FIU, Eunsil is working on the BEST and E4USA projects that aim to broaden participation in engineering. She recently completed her Ph.D. in Engineering Education from Arizona State University in July 2020. Her research interest centers on diversity and inclusion in engineering focusing on students’ sense of belonging, which is an indicator of inclusion. Her dissertation investigated belonging in the context of engineering doctoral education while taking into account of diversity in students’ citizenship (domestic and international students) and its impact on their interpersonal interactions within the academic unit.

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Research on K-12 integrated STEM settings suggests that engineering design activities play an important role in supporting students’ science learning. Moreover, the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine named improvement in science achievement as an objective of K-12 engineering education. Despite promising findings and the theorized importance of engineering education on science learning, there is little literature that investigates the impact of independent engineering design courses on students’ science learning at the high school level. This sparse exploration motivates our work-in-progress study, which explores the impact of high school students’ exposure to engineering design curriculum on their interest in science through a semi-structured student focus group method. This study is a part of a National Science Foundation-funded project that investigates the implementation of [de-identified program], a yearlong high school course that introduces students across the United States to engineering design principles. The Fall 2020 student focus group protocol built on the [de-identified program] 2019-2020 protocol with the addition of a science interest item to the existing engineering self-efficacy and interest items. Approximately thirty-minute semi-structured student focus groups were conducted and recorded via Zoom, then the transcripts and notes were analyzed using an in-vivo coding method. Our preliminary findings suggest that future studies should aim to gain a deeper understanding of the influence standalone engineering design courses have on students’ science interests and explore the role engineering design teachers play in increasing students’ interest in science.

Bond-Trittipo, B., & Berhane, B. T., & Lee, E. (2021, July), Exploring the Impact of High School Engineering Exposure on Science Interests (Work in Progress) Paper presented at 2021 ASEE Virtual Annual Conference Content Access, Virtual Conference. 10.18260/1-2--37153

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