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How Educators Implement Engineering Curricula in OST Settings (Fundamental)

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Conference

2019 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition

Location

Tampa, Florida

Publication Date

June 15, 2019

Start Date

June 15, 2019

End Date

June 19, 2019

Conference Session

Best Practices in Out-of-School Time

Tagged Division

Pre-College Engineering Education

Tagged Topic

Diversity

Page Count

22

DOI

10.18260/1-2--32894

Permanent URL

https://peer.asee.org/32894

Download Count

250

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Paper Authors

biography

Nena E. Bloom Northern Arizona University

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Dr. Nena Bloom is an evaluator and education researcher at the Center for Science Teaching and Learning at Northern Arizona University. The primary area of her work is evaluating STEM education projects that focus on opportunities for, and retention of, K-20 students in STEM areas, majors and fields. She also conducts education research focusing on questions about professional development for educators and how educators support student learning in STEM.

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Elisabeth Roberts Northern Arizona University

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PhD in STEM Education, University of Arizona, Tucson
MA in STEM Education and Environmental Learning, UA, Tucson
BS in Communications and Language Arts, Emerson College
25+ years in STEM education in research and evaluation, program and curriculum design, teacher professional development, STEM-Ed Leadership, writing and editing.

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Lori Rubino-Hare Northern Arizona University

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Lori Rubino-Hare, M.Ed., taught elementary and middle school for 13 years. She has been a Professional Development Coordinator at the Center for Science Teaching and Learning at Northern Arizona University since 2008. She has been active in science education reform efforts and has worked on numerous grant-funded projects that improve STEM education with a particular focus on teaching science with geospatial technologies. She is currently researching best practices for facilitator development models as well as out-of-school time educator needs.

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Haylee Nichole Archer Northern Arizona University

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University of North Dakota, Physics, B.S., 2017
Northern Arizona University, Teaching Science, M.A., 2017-Present

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Christine M. Cunningham Museum of Science, Boston Orcid 16x16 orcid.org/0000-0003-1922-7101

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Dr. Christine Cunningham is an educational researcher who works to make engineering and science more relevant, accessible, and understandable, especially for underserved and underrepresented populations. A vice president at the Museum of Science, Boston since 2003, she founded and directs Engineering is Elementary™, a groundbreaking project that integrates engineering concepts into elementary curriculum and teacher professional development. As of November 2018, EiE has served 19 million children nationwide and 200,000 educators. Cunningham has previously served as director of engineering education research at the Tufts University Center for Engineering Educational Outreach, where her work focused on integrating engineering with science, technology, and math in professional development for K-12 teachers. She also directed the Women’s Experiences in College Engineering (WECE) project, the first national, longitudinal, large-scale study of the factors that support young women pursuing engineering degrees. Cunningham is a Fellow of the American Society for Engineering Education and was awarded the 2014 International Society for Design and Development in Education Prize. She holds B.A. and M.A. degrees in biology from Yale and a Ph.D. in Science Education from Cornell University.

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Joelle Clark Northern Arizona University

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Joelle Clark is Principal Investigator of PLANETS (Planetary Learning that Advances the Nexus of Engineering, Technology, and Science), a NASA-funded cooperative agreement (NNX16AC53A) with the Center for Science Teaching and Learning, Northern Arizona University where she also serves as the Associate Director for Professional Development Programs.

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Abstract

Out-of-School Time (OST) programming provides time and curricular flexibility for youth to explore engineering design. OST programs serve significant populations of youth underrepresented in engineering fields and may be able to reduce the opportunity gap for these youth. High-quality OST engineering curricula can enhance youth learning and engagement, and are important tools for OST educators. However, little is known about how educators implement curricula in OST settings. In order to understand the experiences of youth during engineering design activities, it is important to determine how these materials are being implemented.

Educators in OST settings come from a variety of backgrounds, with a range of teaching experiences and understandings of engineering. Local context, educator experience and knowledge, and personal and program goals are some factors that may influence educator decision making during implementation. Analyzing educator’s curricular implementation from both an integrity of implementation and an actor-oriented perspective illuminates both how educators’ implement curricula and why they make implementation decisions. Understanding these factors can influence the design of engineering curricula and professional development for OST educators.

As part of a multi-year planetary science focused engineering project, we conducted a needs assessment to identify the education backgrounds and demographics of OST STEM educators and OST program contexts. Curricula was developed concurrently. Enactment was then studied in OST settings. Development of professional development, which utilizes both the needs assessment and research findings, is currently underway.

In this study, we examined how educators used OST engineering curricula to support youth development. Our overarching question was: To what extent did educators implement the curriculum with integrity? This study of integrity of implementation shifts the focus from exact replication (fidelity), to implementation that meets the learning goals of the curricula and enables students to achieve intended outcomes. An actor-oriented perspective was also examined to determine how and why educators adapted the curriculum. Participants in the study were four educators and 53 participating youth in four OST settings across the US who engaged in one of two planetary science-focused engineering curriculum units, each consisting of eight one-hour activities. Methods for data collection included educator background surveys, videotaped observations of each activity, educator reflections completed after each activity, and educator interviews conducted at the end of the unit. Data related to integrity were analyzed using descriptive statistics, and data related to educator decision making were analyzed using inductive methods of qualitative analysis.

Findings identify that educators modified the curricula across dimensions of both structure and purpose. For example, one educator in a community youth program consistently shortened activity introductions and post-activity student reflection and writing because the educator felt students needed to be kept active and engaged in hands-on activities. The educator used coaching and questioning to support student understanding of the goals and learning outcomes of the activity. Our paper will provide findings as well as implications for curricular designers, educators, and PD providers as they further develop effective OST learning environments for youth.

Bloom, N. E., & Roberts, E., & Rubino-Hare, L., & Archer, H. N., & Cunningham, C. M., & Clark, J. (2019, June), How Educators Implement Engineering Curricula in OST Settings (Fundamental) Paper presented at 2019 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition , Tampa, Florida. 10.18260/1-2--32894

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: © 2019 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