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Impact of STEM-focused Project-based Learning Activities on Career Education for K-12 and Community College Students

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2012 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition


San Antonio, Texas

Publication Date

June 10, 2012

Start Date

June 10, 2012

End Date

June 13, 2012



Conference Session

Linking K-12 to Post-secondary

Tagged Division

K-12 & Pre-College Engineering

Page Count


Page Numbers

25.719.1 - 25.719.11



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Paper Authors


Alok K. Verma P.E. Old Dominion University

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Alok K. Verma is Ray Ferrari Professor and Director of the Lean Institute at Old Dominion University. He also serves as the President of the International Society of Agile Manufacturing and as the Chief Editor of the International Journal of Agile Manufacturing. Verma received his B.S. in aeronautical engineering from IIT Kanpur, and a M.S. in engineering mechanics and a Ph.D. in mechanical engineering from ODU. Verma is a licensed Professional Engineer in the state of Virginia and a certified Manufacturing Engineer and has certifications in lean manufacturing and Six Sigma. He has organized several international conferences as General Chair, including ICAM-2006 and ICAM-1999, and also serves as Associate Editor for two international journals. His scholarly publications include 35 journal papers and 52 papers in conference proceedings. Verma has developed and delivered training program in lean enterprise and design for manufacturing for Northrop Grumman Newport News, STIHL, and several other companies in U.S. He has developed simulation-based training programs for the shipbuilding and repair industry under a grant from the National Shipbuilding Research Program (NSRP). He is well known internationally and has been invited to deliver keynote addresses at several national and international conferences on lean/agile manufacturing. Verma has received the Regional Alumni Award for Excellence for contribution to lean manufacturing research, the International Education Award at ODU, and Ben Sparks Medal by ASME. He is active in ASME, ASEE, SME, IIE, and SNAME. Verma continues to serve the Hampton Roads community in various leadership positions.

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Impact of STEM Focused Project Based Learning Activities on Career Disposition of K12 Students Abstract Low enrollment and high attrition rates in Science, Technology, Engineering and Math(STEM) based degree programs have created a workforce problem in industries like shipbuildingand repair which are important for national security. Part of this problem can be attributed topedagogical issues like lack of engaging hands-on activities utilized for science and matheducation in middle and high schools. Lack of student interest in technical careers can also beattributed to lack of an integrated approach in teaching math, science and technical education. Toengage student’s interest in the technical career path, it is important that students establish a linkbetween the theoretical knowledge and its application to solve real life problems early in theirlearning experience. Project based learning (PBL) activities have a proven record as instructionaltool. Effectiveness of such activities as a pedagogical tool has been supported by research in theacquisition and retention of knowledge. Two projects funded by the National Science Foundation and National ShipbuildingResearch Program have attempted to address the workforce issue for marine industry bydeveloping project based learning kits and associated instructional modules to engage K-12students in STEM tracks and increase awareness about shipbuilding and repair careers. Fourmarine kits and nine instructional modules were developed under these two grants to encouragecreative thinking and keep students engaged in shipbuilding and repair processes. The teachertraining component of these projects has provided training in using and implementing thesemodules. The paper presents the results obtained through multimodal evaluation strategy togauge impact of PBL activities on student career disposition. The goal is to create a long termpipeline for students into the educational pathways leading to engineering and engineeringtechnology degrees.

Verma, A. K. (2012, June), Impact of STEM-focused Project-based Learning Activities on Career Education for K-12 and Community College Students Paper presented at 2012 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, San Antonio, Texas. 10.18260/1-2--21476

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