June 14, 2015
June 14, 2015
June 17, 2015
K-12 & Pre-College Engineering
26.1014.1 - 26.1014.7
Interest-based engineering challenges phase I: Understanding students’ personal, classroom, engineering, and career interests Using Hynes et al. humanistic framework of engineering, which considers the people andassociated social sciences and humanities knowledge involved when engineering with, for, & aspeople we intend to make a case for emphasizing the “as” people part of engineering. Theresearch presented here falls under a larger investigation of how broad contexts for engineeringdesign challenges may appeal to a more diverse set of students’ interests and help broadenparticipation in engineering. The data reported in this paper relates to the first phase of the largerresearch project focused on understanding students’ personal interests, interests in schoolsubjects, engineering interests, and career interests. The data comes from interviews conducted with middle school and high school studentsthat participated in a summer engineering program targeting underrepresented minorities at alarge Midwestern university. Eight students agreed to participate in the follow-up interviewsconducted several weeks after the weeklong summer engineering program completed. Thestudents participated in semi-structured interviews over the phone that were recorded and thentranscribed for analysis. During preliminary analysis, two main areas of focus emerged. The first area of focusexplores the diversity of interests among students. Deeper analysis of this diversity in interestswas conducted using content analysis looking for key words or themes in interview transcripts.These findings indicate that interest in engineering was common among all participants;however, their interests in engineering centered on a specific activity from the summerengineering program (this will be further explored as part of the scope of the second focus of thisstudy). The diversity of interests vary greatly between the participants falling into categoriessuch as music (playing instruments, making songs), literature & poetry (reading novels, writingstories or poems), outdoor activities (running, walking, playing), and video games (playing). Thesecond area of focus explores themes that were interpreted to be challenges/opportunities forintegrating interests into engineering contexts. These challenges/opportunities include: studentsdo not explicitly connect their personal interests to engineering activities; students have boughtinto the stereotype that one has to be good at math and science to be an engineer; and althoughparticipants had relationships with practicing engineers, they did not utilize those relationships asresources for further exploring/understanding engineering.
Joslyn, C. H., & Holly , J., & Hynes, M. M. (2015, June), Interest-based Engineering Challenges Phase I: Understanding Students' Personal, Classroom, Engineering, and Career Interests Paper presented at 2015 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, Seattle, Washington. 10.18260/p.24351
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