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Impacts Of Industry Employee Volunteering In K 12 Classrooms

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2006 Annual Conference & Exposition


Chicago, Illinois

Publication Date

June 18, 2006

Start Date

June 18, 2006

End Date

June 21, 2006



Conference Session

Assessing K - 12 Engineering Education Programs

Tagged Division

K-12 & Pre-College Engineering

Page Count


Page Numbers

11.718.1 - 11.718.16



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Paper Authors


Erin Cejka Tufts University

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Erin Cejka is a doctoral student in Tufts University's Math, Science, Technology, and Engineering (MSTE) Education program. She holds a BS in Mechanical Engineering and a MS in MSTE Education, both from Tufts. Her major research interest is in professional development for K-8 teachers in engineering education. Erin works at Tufts Center for Engineering Educational Outreach (CEEO), managing their industry outreach program.

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Chris Rogers Tufts University

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Dr. Chris Rogers is a professor of mechanical engineering at Tufts University. He currently works in six different research areas: particle-laden flows, robotics, slurry flows in chemical-mechanical planarization, the engineering of musical instruments, gene-based assay experiment design, and elementary school engineering education.

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NOTE: The first page of text has been automatically extracted and included below in lieu of an abstract

Impacts of Industry Employee Volunteering in K-12 Classrooms


Engineering education has the potential to improve K-12 students’ problem-solving and critical

thinking skills while motivating them to learn science and math. However, for teachers to

effectively implement hands-on engineering activities in the classroom, they may need additional

adult support for curriculum content, classroom management, and technical support. Initial

research findings in this area indicate that programs providing this support may not only impact

K-12 students, but may also benefit the classroom volunteers. This paper presents an exploratory

research study involving one such program run by National Instruments with a network of local

schools. This program has placed nearly 250 employee volunteers in K-12 classrooms in Central

Texas as support for classroom teachers. The “classroom mentors,” the majority of who are

engineers, help teachers bring hands-on engineering design activities into the classroom that

focus on developing math, science, technology, and engineering skills.

The goal of this research is to produce a descriptive picture of the perceived outcomes of the

program from the perspectives of those closely involved — the classroom mentors and the

teachers. Surveys were developed for both of the groups and taken by 37 classroom mentors and

21 teachers. The responses were analyzed in order to evaluate the impacts made by the program

and how these impacts are perceived across and amongst groups. The research aims to

understand not only the effect on students and schools but also how the program has affected

conceptual and attitudinal change in the classroom mentors and the company as a whole. The


Cejka, E., & Rogers, C. (2006, June), Impacts Of Industry Employee Volunteering In K 12 Classrooms Paper presented at 2006 Annual Conference & Exposition, Chicago, Illinois. 10.18260/1-2--1373

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