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Impact of an After School STEM Service Learning Course on Undergraduate Students (RTP)

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2019 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition


Tampa, Florida

Publication Date

June 15, 2019

Start Date

June 15, 2019

End Date

June 19, 2019

Conference Session

Professional Development for Pre-Service and In-Service Teachers

Tagged Division

Pre-College Engineering Education

Tagged Topic


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Paper Authors


Julie Fogarty California State University, Sacramento

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Dr. Fogarty received her B.S. in Civil Engineering at Johns Hopkins University, M.S. degrees in both Civil & Aerospace Engineering, a Ph.D. in Civil Engineering, and a certificate in Engineering Education Research from the University of Michigan. She is currently an Assistant Professor in Civil Engineering at California State University, Sacramento with research interests ranging from the seismic behavior of steel structures to improving/expanding the educational methods used in the formation of engineers.

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Corinne Lardy California State University, Sacramento

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Dr. Corinne Lardy is an assistant professor in the Teaching Credentials Department at California State University, Sacramento and specializes in Science and STEM Teacher Education. Dr. Lardy holds a Ph.D. in Mathematics and Science Education from the University of California, San Diego and San Diego State University, an M.S. in Biological Sciences from San Jose State University, and a B.A. in Environmental Biology from Columbia University. Dr. Lardy has a great deal of experience in school settings as both a teacher and a researcher, spanning from K-12 through the university levels. As a teacher, she has taught multiple areas of science (earth science, biology, and chemistry) in the California public school system at the sixth grade and high school levels. She has also taught a variety of biology courses at the undergraduate level and science education courses for pre-service and in-service elementary and secondary teachers, as well as supervised secondary science student teachers. Dr. Lardy’s current research focuses on pre-service science teachers’ (and their instructors’) developing pedagogical content knowledge and their associated teaching practices in the context of three-dimensional science teaching.

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Exposure to pre-college Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) activities and undergraduate service learning have been linked to increased interest and participation in STEM careers. However, few studies have linked these two activities to increased interest and participation in teaching careers related to STEM. Due to changing national standards and demographics, the next generation of K-12 teachers will be required to integrate STEM into their classrooms while dealing with students of diverse backgrounds that may differ significantly from their own. Of concern are the elementary or K-6 teachers who will be expected to include STEM in their lessons but do not hold an undergraduate degree in a STEM field and may not even be familiar with the acronym. This study evaluates the impact of an After School STEM service learning course on undergraduate preservice teachers (PSTs). This course was designed with the broad goal to engage undergraduates who are thinking about becoming teachers (going on to a credential program after graduation) in a service learning course in which they engage in a pre-credential field experience. As part of this experience, undergraduates learn about STEM integration in teaching and STEM based activities, and then teach those activities to elementary students in local after school programs. The main research questions for this study include: A) How did the service learning experience (in which our undergraduate students teach STEM activities in elementary after school programs in diverse communities) influence their ideas about: (1) STEM, (2) teaching elementary students about STEM, and (3) teaching diverse populations of students?, and B) Were there differences in these ideas depending upon the elementary school site where the service learning practicum took place? The undergraduates’ experiences and developing perspectives are examined through written reflections and field observations throughout the semester. Instructors' field notes from the service learning experience are used as a data source of triangulation. In general, results from this study indicate that undergraduate students’ ideas about STEM and STEM teaching strategies changed, perception of young students’ abilities to engage in STEM were expanded, and self-confidence and desire to pursue a teaching career increased.

Fogarty, J., & Lardy, C. (2019, June), Impact of an After School STEM Service Learning Course on Undergraduate Students (RTP) Paper presented at 2019 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition , Tampa, Florida. 10.18260/1-2--32920

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