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Hk Maker Lab: Creating Engineering Design Courses for High School Students (Evaluation -or- Other)

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2018 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition


Salt Lake City, Utah

Publication Date

June 23, 2018

Start Date

June 23, 2018

End Date

July 27, 2018

Conference Session


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Pre-College Engineering Education

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Paper Authors


Aaron Kyle Columbia University

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Aaron Kyle, Ph.D., is Senior Lecturer in Biomedical Engineering at Columbia University. Dr. Kyle teaches a two semester series undergraduate laboratory course, bioinstrumentation and Senior Design. Senior Design is Dr. Kyle’s major teaching focus and he has worked diligently to continually enhance undergraduate design. He has taught or co-taught the BME Design class since January 2010. Dr. Kyle has spearheaded the incorporation of global health technologies into Senior Design, leading the development of neonatal care technologies for use in Uganda. In 2013, in coordination with the Harlem Biospace, he created the Hk Maker Lab as an opportunity to introduce students from underserved communities to biomedical engineering and engineering design. The creation of this program has engendered an increased interest in STEM education for secondary school students. Accordingly, he is increasing his efforts to provide impactful education opportunities for these students. Dr. Kyle received is B.S. in Electrical Engineering from Kettering University ('02) and Ph.D. in Biomedical Engineering from Purdue University ('07)

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Christine Kovich HYPOTHEkids

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Christine is Co-Founder of Harlem Biospace, a biotech incubator for early stage life science companies. She is also Executive Director of HYPOTHEkids, the K-12 STEM education non-profit with a mission to provide underserved students with hands-on science and engineering educational and mentorship experiences such that they can thrive in the high tech economy of tomorrow. Christine spent the previous 14 years in strategy and product development in the payments industry, most recently creating partnerships with technology start-ups at MasterCard. Prior to that she worked with large consumer brands like PepsiCo and M&M/Mars in Toronto and Moscow. She has an International Masters in Business Administration from the Schulich School of Business at York University in Toronto, Canada and a Bachelor of Education from McGill University in Montreal, Canada.

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Michael A. Carapezza Hk Maker Lab

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Michael Carapezza is the Hk Maker Lab Program Coordinator. Michael graduated from Columbia University with a B.S. in biomedical engineering in 2013, focusing on medical imaging technology. After three years working in biomedical research laboratories, Michael joined the World Science Festival where he managed their digital education initiative and produced their live science lecture series, World Science U. He joined Hk Maker Lab in 2016. Michael is passionate about science and engineering education, and feels that hands-on learning and student-driven inquiry are the best ways to make STEM a meaningful part of a student’s education.

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The emphasis on engineering education in the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS) reflects the rising demand for a well-trained engineering workforce. Despite the growing need for early (P-12) engineering education, deficits persist, attributable in part to the dearth of STEM teachers with engineering knowledge. To address these deficits, we have created the Hk Maker Lab, a suite of interconnected programs that emphasizes engineering design training in high schools. One component of the Hk Maker Lab is the formation of engineering design curricula for NYC high schools. We accomplish this by providing professional development for teachers in coordination with a collaborative, data-driven curriculum development effort. To train teachers, we use our six-week high school engineering design process (EDP) summer program as a co-learning environment. STEM teachers receive hands-on training in the EDP while observing engineering instruction and its challenges. This firsthand experience provides teachers with real-time student feedback during EDP instruction in coordination with receiving that instruction themselves. The co-learning approach exposes teachers to the challenges that arise in teaching students how to identify and solve open-ended problems. This paper provides a framework for leveraging summer or after-school EDP programs into co-learning environments that can facilitate the creation of novel EDP courses.

The Hk Maker Lab summer program is a six-week course that teaches the EDP through a series of interactive workshops, laboratory activities, and open-ended prototyping work. Invited teachers participate fully in programmatic activities alongside students, gaining experience with fundamental EDP skills such as needs identification, customer discovery, design inputs, solution brainstorming, and proof of concept testing. Teachers document student responses to specific program activities, focusing on the attitude, knowledge, and infrastructure challenges that occur when introducing the EDP. The teachers and Hk Maker Lab project team have weekly curriculum development workshops to reflect on their observations, outline the course progressions for in-school EDP courses, create new curricular materials or adapt existing materials from the summer program, and de-risk the course content. Teachers are expected to implement these curricula in their schools during the subsequent academic year.

Two teachers have successfully participated in the Hk Maker Lab curriculum development program, resulting in EDP courses for their respective schools. One of those courses is currently in progress, while the other will begin this academic year. The courses are being assessed with regard to their effects on students’: attitudes towards engineering; knowledge of EDP content; and further pursuit of engineering education and STEM undergraduate majors. These assessments will drive curriculum development efforts that will occur with future teacher cohorts. In this way, Hk Maker Lab will develop an iterative process of data-driven curricular refinement that will grow more robust as more teachers learn the EDP and create new courses.

In the Hk Maker lab, we have created a combined professional and curriculum development that is an effective way to establish novel EDP courses for high schools. By training teachers in engineering alongside students, teachers learn the EDP in an applied fashion and gain insight into the challenges students face when learning engineering.

Kyle, A., & Kovich, C., & Carapezza, M. A. (2018, June), Hk Maker Lab: Creating Engineering Design Courses for High School Students (Evaluation -or- Other) Paper presented at 2018 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition , Salt Lake City, Utah. 10.18260/1-2--30576

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