June 23, 2013
June 23, 2013
June 26, 2013
K-12 & Pre-College Engineering
23.662.1 - 23.662.16
High School Students Modeling Behaviors During Engineering DesignModeling is an essential practice of engineering design (Brophy, Klein, Portsmore, &Rogers, 2008; Dym, Agogino, Eris, Frey, & Leifer, 2005; Katehi, Pearson, & Feder,2009; Moore & Diefes-Dux, 2004; Moussavi, 1998; Steif & Pantazidou, 2004). Studentsin college engineering programs and expert engineers spend time modeling during designchallenges (Atman et al., 2007). Additionally, high school technology education studentsspend time modeling during design challenges (Becker & Mentzer, 2012). While researchhas indicated that students are spending time modeling, the types of modeling thestudents are performing remains unclear. A significant finding in the National Academiespublication, Engineering in K-12 (2009) stated, “Existing curricula do not fully exploitthe natural connections between engineering and the other three STEM subjects” (p.156). One of these connections, mathematical analysis and modeling, was nearly entirelyabsent from the curricula the committee reviewed (Katehi et al., 2009).Studies have shown that engineering modeling is lacking from common curricula, yetstudents are actively engaging in modeling practices. The purpose of this research is toshed light on the types of modeling students are engaging in. Furthermore, the work aimsto provide evidence about student modeling behaviors and lead to more informeddecisions about how engineering design can be used as a pedagogical strategy in scienceand mathematic instruction.Data collected from an ongoing Discovery Research in K-12 project, Engineering Designas a Innovation in STEM Learning, has uncovered questions about modeling from thepreviously collected data. The sample consists of twenty (20) high school studentsengaging in engineering design challenges. The literature suggests students learndifferently dependent upon gender and ethnicity, among other factors (Hallinan, 1988).Therefore, this research employed a stratified sampling method to randomly selectequally numbers of both the gender of the participants, male and female; and ethnicity,Caucasian and under-represented from a pool of fifty-nine (59) students. The aim is todeduce and discuss the multiple of factors that may lead to a difference among studentmodeling habits.As with any descriptive study, the primary commitment of this study is to depict andclarify what is. In the case of modeling, the depiction is expansive. The scholarship ofmodeling practices in engineering is not novel. Several examples in the literature embodystudies that link modeling to study motivation (Adams, Evangelou, & English, 2011;Diefes-dux, Moore, Zawojewski, Imbrie, & Follman, 2004), meaningful learning(Jonassen & Strobel, 2006), and mathematical achievement (Abrams, 2001; English,2010; Lehrer & Schauble, 2000). None, however, have engaged in meaningful research toprovide clarity on what types of modeling high school engineering students areparticipating in. With that primary emphasis in mind, this research employs descriptivestatistics and qualitative insight to describe the phenomena of modeling in high schoolstudents. The utilization of the qualitative observation and verbal protocol analysissoftware, Nvivo, and methods emulated from Attman (2007) and Becker & Mentzer(2012) allows for the analysis of student modeling in an authentic assessmentenvironment. Furthermore, student examples are provided as exemplars and used as acatalyst for additional discussion.
Huffman, T. J., & Mentzer, N., & Becker, K. H. (2013, June), High School Students Modeling Behaviors During Engineering Design Paper presented at 2013 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, Atlanta, Georgia. https://peer.asee.org/19676
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