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Family Engineering: Exploring Engineering with Elementary-­age Children and their Parents

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Conference

2012 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition

Location

San Antonio, Texas

Publication Date

June 10, 2012

Start Date

June 10, 2012

End Date

June 13, 2012

ISSN

2153-5965

Conference Session

Factors Impacting Engineering Career Choices, Including Engaging Families

Tagged Division

K-12 & Pre-College Engineering

Page Count

14

Page Numbers

25.636.1 - 25.636.14

Permanent URL

https://peer.asee.org/21393

Download Count

26

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Paper Authors

biography

David R. Heil David Heil & Associates, Inc.

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David Heil, President of David Heil & Associates, Inc., is well-known as an innovative educator, author, and host of the Emmy Award-winning PBS science series, Newton’s Apple. Active in promoting public understanding of science for more than 30 years, he is a frequent conference and workshop presenter on science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) education. Heil was the Lead Editor of the popular book Family Science and the Founding President of the Foundation for Family Science and Engineering, one of the three partner organizations responsible for creating Family Engineering.

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biography

Neil Hutzler Michigan Technological University

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Neil Hutzler, Ph.D.., P.E., is a professor of civil and environmental engineering and the Director of the Center for Science and Environmental Outreach at Michigan Technological University (MTU). He has more than 30 years of experience in engineering education in both K-12 and higher education. MTU is one of the three partner organizations responsible for creating Family Engineering, and Hutzler served as the Principal Investigator of the National Science Foundation grant supporting the development of the Family Engineering program.

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biography

Christine M. Cunningham Museum of Science

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Christine Cunningham is a Vice President at the Museum of Science, Boston, where she oversees curricular materials development, teacher professional development, and research and evaluation efforts related to K-16 engineering and science learning and teaching. Her projects focus on making engineering and science more relevant, understandable, and accessible to everyone, especially marginalized populations such as women, underrepresented minorities, people from low socio-economic backgrounds, and people with disabilities. She is the Founder and Director of the Engineering is Elementary project.

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biography

Mia Jackson Foundation for Family Science & Engineering

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Mia Jackson, an Associate with David Heil & Associates, Inc., specializes in program and exhibit development, project management, and evaluation with an emphasis on early learning, parent/child engagement, and public outreach. Trained in elementary education, she has worked in the science education field for more than 15 years, including serving as the Director of Education and Exhibits at the Imaginarium, a science center in Anchorage, Alaska.

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biography

Joan F. Chadde Michigan Technological University

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Joan F. Chadde os K-12 Education Program Coordinator for the Center for Science & Environmental Outreach since 1995. She is author of several curricula, resource guides, and journal articles. She conducts 20 family science and engineering events each year, using university STEM majors as presenters to the elementary children and their parents.

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Abstract

Family  Engineering:    Exploring  Engineering  With   Elementary-­Age  Children  And  Their  Parents      ABSTRACT    The  goal  of  the  Family  Engineering  program  is  to  actively  engage  elementary-­‐age  youth  in  exploring  engineering  activities  and  career  opportunities  with  their  parents.    The  program  addresses  both  national  and  global  needs  for  increasing  the  number  and  diversity  of  individuals  interested  and  skilled  in  science,  technology,  engineering  and  mathematics  (STEM).    Family  Engineering  promotes  21st  Century  skills  of  inquiry,  creativity,  teamwork,  and  collaborative  problem  solving  and  can  be  used  by  individuals  and  organizations  to  plan  and  conduct  successful  community  outreach  events  that  increase  public  understanding  and  appreciation  of  engineering  and  the  role  it  plays  in  everyday  life.    Modeled  after  the  popular  publications  Family  Science  (1999)  and  Family  Math  (1986)  a  new  publication  titled  Family  Engineering:    An  Activity  and  Event  Planning  Guide  (2011)  will  serve  as  a  valuable  resource  for  professional  engineering  societies  and  student  chapters  of  those  societies  as  well  as  formal  and  informal  educators  who  want  to  host  a  Family  Engineering  event  in  their  community.  With  support  from  the  National  Science  Foundation,  hands-­‐on  activities  that  introduce  families  to  traditional  and  integrated  engineering  disciplines  and  concepts  were  developed  by  a  team  of  experienced  curriculum  developers;  field  tested  at  over  40  events  in  California,  Connecticut,  Georgia,  Michigan,  Mississippi,  Puerto  Rico,  Utah,  and  Wisconsin,  to  determine  their  suitability  for  a  wide  range  of  settings  and  audiences;  and  reviewed  by  professional  educators  and  engineers.    Formative  evaluation  guided  development  of  the  program  and,  once  completed,  summative  evaluation  conducted  by  an  independent  evaluation  team  measured  impact  and  efficacy  of  the  program’s  design,  resource  materials,  and  event  formats.    Findings  indicate  that  Family  Engineering  activities  and  events  are  fun  and  engaging,  result  in  families  having  an  increased  appreciation  and  understanding  of  engineering,  and  parents  report  an  increased  confidence  and  willingness  to  encourage  their  children  to  consider  a  career  in  engineering.      

Heil, D. R., & Hutzler, N., & Cunningham, C. M., & Jackson, M., & Chadde, J. F. (2012, June), Family Engineering: Exploring Engineering with Elementary-­age Children and their Parents Paper presented at 2012 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, San Antonio, Texas. https://peer.asee.org/21393

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