June 14, 2015
June 14, 2015
June 17, 2015
K-12 & Pre-College Engineering
26.846.1 - 26.846.8
High School Students’ Ability to Balance Benefits & Tradeoffs while Engineering Green Buildings (Fundamental) AbstractThe ability to balance benefits and tradeoffs is central to engineering and linked to promotingscience learning. In this study we investigate as high school students develop quality designsolutions through balancing benefits and tradeoffs do they engage in explanatory behaviors. Wespecifically examined explanatory behaviors of referring to data, making scientific explanationsand explicitly mentioning balancing benefits and tradeoffs. Data on student design processes andsolutions were collected as students engaged in a project requiring the design of three uniquesolar homes using a computer-aided design software, Energy3D, with built-in energy simulationcapabilities. Students developed three alternative solutions and determined which of their threedesigns they believed best meet the criteria and constraints set by the design challenge. The maindata sources include files of student designs with embedded analysis and electronic notes takenby the students. The quality of individual students solutions are evaluated based on the degree towhich they meet specified criteria (minimizing energy required, minimizing cost, comfortably fita family of four and curb appeal). These results of the presence of explanatory behaviors can beused to evaluate alignment of students’ decisions in selecting an idea for further design andtesting.Data from 44 high school students were collected. Preliminary results, based on the analysis ofdata from 11 students, show that of the 33 design solutions, only seven designs (six students) metall design criteria (annual energy consumption less than 8,000 kWh, building material cost lessthan $5,000, and large enough to be comfortable for a family of four or square footage ofapproximately 185.5m2). Of those that met all design criteria, explanatory behaviors occurred inthe following frequency: six science concepts, three referring to data, and three explicitlymentioning balancing benefits and tradeoffs. Multiple explanatory behaviors could occur in eachdesign. While five of the student design solutions used explanatory behaviors, two did not useexplanatory behaviors in developing quality designs. In the remaining analysis we will reviewthe remaining 33 students (~99 design solutions) and intend to show what role, if any,explanations have in quality design decisions.Keywords: engineering design, high school, idea fluency, experimentation, computer-aideddesign.
Goldstein, M. H., & Purzer, S., & Zielinski, M., & Adams, R. (2015, June), High School Students’ Ability to Balance Benefits and Tradeoffs While Engineering Green Buildings Paper presented at 2015 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, Seattle, Washington. 10.18260/p.24183
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