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Impact of an Introductory Engineering Design Course on Minority Middle and High School Students' Self-Efficacy and Interest in Engineering (Work in Progress)

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2016 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition


New Orleans, Louisiana

Publication Date

June 26, 2016

Start Date

June 26, 2016

End Date

June 29, 2016





Conference Session

K-12 & Pre-College Engineering Division Poster Session: Works in Progress

Tagged Division

Pre-College Engineering Education Division

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Paper Authors


Tameshia Ballard Baldwin North Carolina State University

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Dr. Tameshia Ballard Baldwin is a Teaching Assistant Professor working jointly in the College of Engineering and the Department of STEM Education within the College of Education. She earned a B.S. in Biological Engineering from North Carolina State University and an M.S. and Ph.D. in Biological Systems Engineering from Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University. Dr. Baldwin's primary focus is working across the Colleges of Engineering and Education on engineering education related initiatives. She teaches undergraduate courses in the First Year Engineering Program and in the Department of STEM Education. Dr. Baldwin's research interests include self-efficacy, motivation and persistence of underrepresented populations in STEM and engineering design in K-12.

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Angelitha Daniel North Carolina State University


Braska Williams Jr North Carolina State University

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13 years experience in K-12 working for Newport News (VA) Public Schools and 11 years experience at North Carolina State University; managed over $10 million in grants over my career including several NSF grants; extensive work in K-12 with underrepresented minority students and the STEM pipeline;

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This work in progress study addresses the lack of participation of underrepresented minorities (URM) in engineering through a strategic partnership between the Minority Engineering Program (MEP) and the North Carolina Mathematics and Science Education Network Pre-College Program (MSEN) at North Carolina State University. The PCP has a 77% URM population and its mission is to prepare underserved students in grades 6-12 for careers in STEM. MEP promotes student development and serves to increase the recruitment and retention of URM students entering and successfully completing engineering and computer science degrees. The goal of this project was to pilot an engineering design course for minority middle and high school students (grades 7-12) in the MSEN program aimed to improve their interest and self-efficacy in engineering.

An introductory engineering design course was developed to introduce MSEN students to the field of engineering and the engineering design process. There were two engineering design classes, one for middle and one for high school students. Undergraduate students in MEP served as mentors in the course and guided MSEN students through the completion of an engineering design project, examples of which included a Rube Goldberg Machine, Hovercraft and Concrete Canoe. A total of 16 middle (grades 7-8) and 20 high school (grades 9-12) students participated in the course for 10 Saturdays over a four month period. Preliminary results suggested that students’ interest and self-efficacy in engineering remained high over the duration of the engineering design course. According to survey results, the course made students want to learn more about engineering and improved their understanding of what engineers do. This work in progress paper will describe the engineering design course, preliminary findings and plans for future course offerings.

Baldwin, T. B., & Daniel, A., & Williams, B. (2016, June), Impact of an Introductory Engineering Design Course on Minority Middle and High School Students' Self-Efficacy and Interest in Engineering (Work in Progress) Paper presented at 2016 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, New Orleans, Louisiana. 10.18260/p.25532

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