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Impact of TEAMS Clubs: An Afterschool Engineering Enrichment Program that Impacts K-12 Students and College Student Leaders

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2013 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition


Atlanta, Georgia

Publication Date

June 23, 2013

Start Date

June 23, 2013

End Date

June 26, 2013



Conference Session

Outreach Along the K-12 Pathways to Engineering

Tagged Division

K-12 & Pre-College Engineering

Page Count


Page Numbers

23.689.1 - 23.689.17



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Paper Authors


Janet L. Yowell University of Colorado Boulder

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Janet serves as the Associate Director of K-12 Engineering Education for the College of Engineering and Applied Science at the University of Colorado Boulder. Involved since 2000, she collaborates on the College’s ambitious K-12 engineering initiatives, including their capacity-building and school partnership programs. She coordinates the Integrated Teaching and Learning Program’s NSF-funded TEAMS Program (Tomorrow’s Engineers… creAte. iMagine. Succeed.) which engages more than 2,200 K-12 students in engineering throughout the academic year and summer months. She is also a contributing curriculum writer and editor for the TeachEngineering digital library, also an NSF-funded project.
Janet holds a B.A. in Communication from CU-Boulder and is currently pursuing a master’s degree in Information and Learning Technology at CU-Denver.

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Malinda S Zarske University of Colorado, Boulder

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Dr. Malinda S. Zarske is the director of K-12 Engineering Education at the University of Colorado Boulder’s College of Engineering and Applied Science. A former high school and middle school science and math teacher, she has advanced degrees in teaching secondary science from the Johns Hopkins University and in civil engineering from CU-Boulder. She is also a first-year Engineering Projects instructor, faculty advisor for SWE, and on the development team for the TeachEngineering digital library. Her primary research interests are on student identity, recruitment, and retention in K-12 and undergraduate engineering.

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Daniel Knight University of Colorado, Boulder

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Daniel W. Knight is the engineering assessment specialist at the Integrated Teaching and Learning Program (ITLL) and the Broadening Opportunity through Leadership and Diversity (BOLD) Center in CU’s College of Engineering and Applied Science. He holds a B.A. in Psychology from the Louisiana State University, and an M.S. in Industrial/Organizational Psychology and a Ph.D. degree in Counseling Psychology both from the University of Tennessee. Dr. Knight’s research interests are in the areas of retention, program evaluation and teamwork practices in engineering education. His current duties include assessment, evaluation and research for the ITL Program’s and BOLD Center’s hands-on initiatives.

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Jacquelyn F. Sullivan University of Colorado, Boulder

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Jacquelyn F. Sullivan is founding co-director of the Integrated Teaching and Learning Program, and associate dean for inclusive excellence at the University of Colorado Boulder’s College of Engineering and Applied Science. She received her Ph.D. in environmental health physics and toxicology from Purdue University and held leadership positions in the energy and software industries for thirteen years. She founded and leads CU’s extensive K-12 engineering initiative and the BOLD Center, and spearheaded the Engineering GoldShirt Program. She led the founding of the ASEE K-12 Division in 2004, was awarded ASEE’s 2005 Lifetime Achievement Award, and was conferred as an ASEE fellow member in 2011. She was awarded NAE’s 2008 Gordon Prize for Innovation in Engineering and Technology Education.

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Long-Term Impact of TEAMS Clubs: An Afterschool Engineering Enrichment Program that Impacts K-12 Students and Teachers and College Student LeadersMany examples of university engineering education programs designed to impact K-12 studentlearning, K-12 teacher development, and K-12 student access are described in the literature.Unfortunately, many of these programs do not report long-term engagement with students inconjunction with rigorous assessment of student outcomes. There is a need to better determinethe outcome of evolving STEM instruction in K-12 schools and the best practices forimplementation.This paper discusses a successful model for a weekly afterschool engineering enrichmentprogram that has been running for 10-years. Named the TEAMS clubs, they are taught byundergraduate engineering students at a Large Public University, using exciting, hands-onactivities that allow students to learn first-hand that engineering is creative and explorative. TheTEAMS clubs are widely popular, oftentimes with more students interested in participating thanthere is space—leaving many students on a participation waitlist at some of the schools. Themajority of the elementary students in these extra-curricular experiences are concurrentlyengaged in engineering learning opportunities during an in-class, academic-year NSF-fundedGK-12 program. To supplement the in-class program goals, the after-school TEAMS Clubs alsoseek to expand the knowledge of and exposure to various engineering careers.While program assessment has been at the core of these clubs since their inception, the impactsof the TEAMS Clubs have not been previously reported in the literature. To understand theperceptions of their continual and frequent exposure to engineering, pre/post 3rd-5th gradestudents’ engineering attitudes are assessed for students in nine elementary schools in localpartner schools. Teacher and TEAMS Club leader impact is also discussed, supporting the theorythat the clubs have a much broader effect than just the students themselves. Additionally, detailsare provided on how schools across the nation can replicate and implement the modelsuccessfully, with minimal funding and maximum impact. The TeachEngineering digital library,also an NSF-funded program, is revealed as a primary source for TEAMS Clubs activities.

Yowell, J. L., & Zarske, M. S., & Knight, D., & Sullivan, J. F. (2013, June), Impact of TEAMS Clubs: An Afterschool Engineering Enrichment Program that Impacts K-12 Students and College Student Leaders Paper presented at 2013 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, Atlanta, Georgia. 10.18260/1-2--19703

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