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Full Paper: Future Design Studio – Building a Growth Mindset and a Path to Persistence Through Improvisation and Design Fiction

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2018 FYEE Conference


Glassboro, New Jersey

Publication Date

July 24, 2018

Start Date

July 24, 2018

End Date

July 26, 2018

Conference Session

Technical Session V

Tagged Topics

Diversity and FYEE Conference Sessions

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Paper Authors


Aubrey Wigner Michigan State University

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Aubrey Wigner is an assistant professor in the Broad College of Business at Michigan State University where he teaches entrepreneurship to students from all majors across the campus. He has an undergraduate degree in Chemical and Biochemical Engineering and a Masters in International Political Economy of Resources, both from the Colorado School of Mines. His PhD is from Arizona State University in Human and Social Dimensions of Science and Technology. His research focuses on integrating Makerspaces and Design Thinking with higher education to enhance learning through hands on interdisciplinary practices.

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Megan K Halpern Michigan State University


Isaac Record Michigan State University

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Isaac Record is an Assistant Professor of Practice at Lyman Briggs College, Michigan State University, where he directs the Collaborative Experiential Learning Laboratory and teaches courses in philosophy of science, science and technology studies, and critical making. His research seeks to situate our epistemic and ethical circumstances within a network of values, capabilities, and material and social technologies. Isaac holds a PhD and MA from the Institute for the History and Philosophy of Science and Technology (IHPST) at the University of Toronto and a BS in Electrical Engineering and BS in Computer Engineering from the University of Maine.

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Future Design Studio is a multidisciplinary two-day workshop combining science, technology, history, improvisation, design, and making. The workshop seeks to enhance retention in STEM by helping students form a develop a growth mindset and the communal traits necessary for success. To accomplish this, the workshop provides an environment where students engage in improvisation exercises to build community, practice communication skills, and develop critical thinking by examining scientific and technological progress. During the workshop, students explore ethical and societal issues surrounding science and technology through the physical prototyping of imagined artifacts from 100 years in the future and through watching and discussing an improvisational performance by professional actors using the artifacts the students have created. Approximately 50 underrepresented and/or at-risk first year students participated in Future Design Studio in 2017. Initial results show students are developing the foundations of a growth mindset through their experience in Future Design Studio. Students also reported an increase in their comfort levels with communicating in their classes, a greater sense that they will succeed in STEM fields, and the creation of a positive community to grow with during their time at college.

Wigner, A., & Halpern, M. K., & Record, I. (2018, July), Full Paper: Future Design Studio – Building a Growth Mindset and a Path to Persistence Through Improvisation and Design Fiction Paper presented at 2018 FYEE Conference, Glassboro, New Jersey.

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