Asee peer logo

Handheld Digital Video Cameras as a Means to Support Engineering Instruction

Download Paper |


2012 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition


San Antonio, Texas

Publication Date

June 10, 2012

Start Date

June 10, 2012

End Date

June 13, 2012



Conference Session

New and Innovative Ideas

Tagged Division

K-12 & Pre-College Engineering

Page Count


Page Numbers

25.686.1 - 25.686.34



Permanent URL

Download Count


Request a correction

Paper Authors


Pamela S. Lottero-Perdue Ph.D. Towson University

visit author page

Pamela S. Lottero-Perdue is an Assistant Professor of science education in the Department of Physics, Astronomy & Geosciences at Towson University. She began her career as process engineer, taught high school physics and pre-engineering, and has been involved in both Project Lead the Way and Project FIRST robotics. She was a Hub Site Partner for Engineering is Elementary (EiE) through their National Dissemination through Regional Partners program. As a pre-service teacher educator, she has added engineering to her elementary and early childhood science methods courses. She has taught engineering to children in informal settings, and is a partner with Harford County Public Schools (Maryland) on a district-wide project, the SySTEmic Project, to implement elementary engineering instruction within the science curriculum using EiE units of instruction. Her research includes examining the ways in which children and adults critically analyze technologies and investigations of factors that support and those that hinder elementary teachers as they learn to teach engineering.

visit author page

Download Paper |


Handheld Digital Video Cameras as a Means to Support Engineering InstructionThis paper describes the results of completed research on the way in which 36 teachers from 7elementary schools in a school system used handheld digital video cameras to capture, view, andanalyze video segments to enhance engineering instruction within 24 3rd grade and 19 4th gradeclassrooms. This is a novel subject in that while digital still pictures (taken by teachers/students)and videos (not taken by teachers/students) have been described as means to support children’sscience learning (e.g., Everhart, 2009; Bradbury et al., 2010), and college-level engineeringstudents have engaged in interactive video experiences (e.g., Genereaux & Mangione-Lora,2009), videos taken, viewed, and analyzed in elementary classrooms and by elementary studentsto enhance engineering (or other) instruction is not significantly addressed in the literature.Background. Two Engineering is Elementary (EiE) units provided the basis for engineeringinstruction in this study: 1) Catching the Wind: Designing Windmills - Mechanical Engineering,taught in 3rd grade classrooms; and 2) A Sticky Situation: Designing Walls - MaterialsEngineering, for 4th grade. Each unit was explicitly connected to relevant science lessons. In2009, teachers received 9 hours of EiE/science professional development (PD). During PD,teachers received the cameras and were asked to use them creatively to enhance student learning.Teachers taught the units in the 2009-2010 academic year.Research Questions. During engineering instruction: 1. How did the teacher and students record video segments, view video segments, and critically analyze video segments? 2. What did teachers perceive to be the benefits of using cameras? 3. What did teachers perceive to be the challenges of using cameras?Methodology. This study was conducted in three phases in 2009 and 2010. Phase I involved twoclassrooms in an early 3rd grade pilot. Issues related to camera use were identified via analysis ofinterview data and classroom observations. These issues informed the development of surveyquestions for Phase II. These surveys measured, among other topics, the 36 teachers’ experienceswith and perceptions of the hand-held cameras before teaching (100% response rate) and afterteaching (94% response rate). In Phase III, 21 of the 36 teachers were interviewed to explain andelaborate upon their experiences with regard to the cameras. Data analysis occurred in 2011.Findings. Survey and interview data revealed that the cameras captured important backgroundinformation and testing results to be considered (and re-considered via replaying video segments)during the design process. Additional findings include the way in which cameras enable teachersto: share design ideas across classrooms; and engage students in critical, comparative analysis ofdifferent design solutions and of students’ reasoning regarding their design choices.Impact. For those interested in K-12 engineering implementation, the study provides ideas,based on the creative work of the teachers in this study, for using affordable and widely availabledigital handheld cameras in classrooms. Further, the study may inspire additional research (e.g.,that employs pre-post student assessments, and/or a comparison between non-camera andcamera-infused classrooms) to further investigate how cameras can enhance student learning.ReferencesBradbury, L., Gross, L., Goodman, J., & Straits, W. (2010). Picture this! First graders explore school grounds with cameras in search of science and wind up learning about how objects rust. Science & Children, 48(4), pp. 46-50.Everhart, J. (2009). YouTube in the science classroom: Tips on incorporating this popular video file-sharing website into your science lessons. Science & Children, 46(9), pp. 32-35.Genereux, B., & Mangione-Lora, E. (2009). Enhancing student learning with video projects. Proceedings of the American Society for Engineering Education (ASEE).

Lottero-Perdue, P. S. (2012, June), Handheld Digital Video Cameras as a Means to Support Engineering Instruction Paper presented at 2012 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, San Antonio, Texas. 10.18260/1-2--21443

ASEE holds the copyright on this document. It may be read by the public free of charge. Authors may archive their work on personal websites or in institutional repositories with the following citation: © 2012 American Society for Engineering Education. Other scholars may excerpt or quote from these materials with the same citation. When excerpting or quoting from Conference Proceedings, authors should, in addition to noting the ASEE copyright, list all the original authors and their institutions and name the host city of the conference. - Last updated April 1, 2015