June 23, 2013
June 23, 2013
June 26, 2013
NSF Grantees Poster Session
23.747.1 - 23.747.11
Informal Pathways to Engineering Roughly 85% of a child's time (waking hours) is spent in out-‐of-‐school settings. Therefore, as we consider increasing pre-‐college students' awareness of engineering, along with the need to broaden diverse participation in engineering and promote a more engineering-‐literate populous, it is important to not only consider how children learn about engineering in school environments, but also how they learn about engineering in out-‐of-‐school settings. This project seeks to investigate the effect of informal, out-‐of-‐school learning activities on students' interest in engineering and decisions to engage in engineering-‐related activities (leading to choices to study engineering in college). The study builds on the success of the "Design Squad," an NSF-‐funded, multimedia program for middle school children that includes television episodes broadcast nationally on PBS, an interactive website, and hands-‐on engineering activities. The study uses a longitudinal study design where children, parents and educators (both classroom teachers and informal educators) are interviewed and surveyed to collect data, which will be analyzed using social cognitive career theory. The broader significance and importance of this project will be to support the informal engineering field's ability to inspire more children to pursue engineering pathways (from initial interest in engineering to choices in college majors and an ultimate career as a professional engineer). The project builds on strong partnerships with many youth organizations, such as the Girl Scouts of the USA, FIRST and the National Engineers Week Foundation. This project includes not only a research program, but also the development of new web-‐resources that can further promote children's interest in and understanding of engineering.
Cardella, M. E., & Wolsky, M., & Paulsen, C. A., & Jones, T. R. (2013, June), Informal Pathways to Engineering Paper presented at 2013 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, Atlanta, Georgia. https://peer.asee.org/19761
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