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Impact of the You’re Hired! Program on Student Attitudes and Understanding of Engineering (RTP, Strand 4)

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2015 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition


Seattle, Washington

Publication Date

June 14, 2015

Start Date

June 14, 2015

End Date

June 17, 2015





Conference Session

Research to Practice: STRAND 4 – K-12 Engineering Resources: Best Practices in Curriculum Design (Part 1)

Tagged Division

K-12 & Pre-College Engineering

Page Count


Page Numbers

26.891.1 - 26.891.15



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Paper Authors


Kristin M Brevik North Dakota State College of Science

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Kristin Brevik is the STEM Outreach Specialist at North Dakota State College of Science. She received her M.S. from the University of North Dakota in Chemical Engineering and her B.S. from Minnesota State University Moorhead in Physics. Her research focus is in STEM education and project design.

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Kristi Jean North Dakota State College of Science

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Dr. Kristi Jean is associate professor in the Applied Sciences and Technology at the North Dakota State College of Science. She holds a Ph.D. from Georgia Institute of Technology, M.S. from Lehigh University and a B.S. from the University of North Dakota, all in Chemical Engineering. She serves as a female role model in K-12 STEM outreach and is trained in project design that incorporates scaling, sustaining and behavior influence strategies.

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Frank M. Bowman University of North Dakota

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Dr. Frank Bowman is Associate Professor, Tom Owens Fellow, and Associate Chair in the Department of Chemical Engineering at the University of North Dakota. He holds a Ph.D. from the California Institute of Technology and a B.S from Brigham Young University, both in Chemical Engineering. His research interests include atmospheric aerosols, assessment of student learning, and educational computer games.

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Bradley Bowen North Dakota State University Orcid 16x16

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Bradley Bowen is an assistant professor at North Dakota State University. He has a duel appointment with the Teacher Education Department and the Department of Construction Management and Engineering. He has a B.S. in Civil Engineering from Virginia Tech and received a Master's of Civil Engineering and an Ed.D. in Technology Education from N.C. State University. He specializes in developing and integrating project-based activities into the K-12 classroom that incorporate engineering and STEM learning concepts as well as providing professional development for K-12 teachers.

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Impact of the You’re Hired! Program on Student Attitudes and Understanding of Engineering (RTP, Strand 4)With the growing need for qualified employees in STEM-based careers, it is critical to developactivities for middle and high school students to increase their awareness of opportunities inthese areas. With proper design, increasing awareness of STEM-based careers in conjunctionwith overcoming current stereotypes can lead to a change in attitudes towards these variouscareers. Researchers at __________, along with __________ and __________, have developed‘You’re Hired!', a program providing middle and high school students a hands-on, authenticexperience in various engineering roles while assessing the change in a student’s attitude towardsthe engineering profession. Project design also incorporates an opportunity in which studentscan hone their 21st Century Skills such as collaboration, critical thinking and time management.‘You’re Hired!’ is a series of three STEM-based projects, given over the course of a schoolyear, that requires students to work as a ‘company’ for an entire school day to find a solution to arelevant, present-day problem. At the end of each project, the students communicate theirsolution to a community-led boardroom, comprised of school board members, communitystakeholders and local industry representatives. The 'You're Hired!' program is designed toimmerse students in an authentic real-world experience that incorporates the engineering designprocess and 21st Century Skills. The program also tracks student progress in these areasthroughout the year using peer- and self-assessments.This research project used both quantitative and qualitative data collection methods to measurethe impact of the ‘You’re Hired!’ program. The methodology includes comparing a controlgroup to an experimental group to further understand the benefit of the program. Other factors,such as gender and school setting, were also analyzed to determine program impact. The resultsof the statistical analysis show there is a significant difference in the change in a student’sattitude toward engineering when participating in the program. In this paper, the researchers willdescribe the details of ‘You’re Hired!’, the methodology for data collection, and the results of thestatistical analysis from data collected during the 2013-2014 school year.

Brevik, K. M., & Jean, K., & Bowman, F. M., & Bowen, B. (2015, June), Impact of the You’re Hired! Program on Student Attitudes and Understanding of Engineering (RTP, Strand 4) Paper presented at 2015 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, Seattle, Washington. 10.18260/p.24228

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