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It Takes a Village to Raise an Engineer

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2016 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition


New Orleans, Louisiana

Publication Date

June 26, 2016

Start Date

June 26, 2016

End Date

August 28, 2016





Conference Session

Student Preparation for, and Outcomes from, Community Engagement Efforts

Tagged Division

Community Engagement Division

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Paper Authors


Carolyn Parker The Johns Hopkins University

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Carolyn Parker is a STEM education faculty member and researcher at the Johns Hopkins University School of Education. Her work appears in the Journal of Research in Science Teaching, Written Communication, and School Science and Mathematics and the edited volume: Research on Women in Education Series: Girls and Women in STEM Fields: A Never Ending Story.

Dr. Parker is a co-principal investigator for JHU’s National Science Foundation STEM Achievement in Baltimore Elementary Schools (SABES) grant. The SABES grant is a 7.4 million dollar award that leverages the skills and resources of the schools, community, and businesses in three high-minority, low-resource Baltimore city neighborhoods. The goal is to integrate science into a child’s world as opposed to bringing a student into the world of scientists.

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Michael L Falk Johns Hopkins University Orcid 16x16

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Michael Falk is a Professor in the Department of Materials Science and Engineering at Johns Hopkins University's Whiting School of Engineering where he has served on the faculty since 2008 with secondary appointments in Mechanical Engineering and in Physics and Astronomy. He holds a B.A. in Physics (1990) and a M.S.E. in Computer Science (1991) from Johns Hopkins University and a Ph.D. in Physics (1998) from the University of California, Santa Barbara. He has been twice selected as a visiting Chaire Joliot at the École Supérieure de Physique et de Chimie Industrielles at Paris Tech and has organized extended workshops on the physics of glasses and on friction, fracture and earthquakes at the Kavli Institute for Theoretical Physics. He has received several awards for his educational accomplishments, and in 2011 he received an award from the university's Diversity Leadership Council for his work on LGBT inclusion. His education research focuses on integrating computation into the undergraduate core curriculum. Falk also serves as the lead investigator for STEM Achievement in Baltimore Elementary Schools (SABES) an NSF funded Community Enterprise for STEM Learning partnership between JHU and Baltimore City Schools.

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We present survey results from grade 3-5 students, focused on student understanding of engineering. The work, supported by a National Science Foundation Math Science Partnership between a large, research-focused university and a high need, urban school system, focuses on bringing the work of engineers to the world of inner city elementary students through an engineering focused in-school curriculum, and an out of school-time experience, supported by community partnerships and guided by engineering mentors. One year of student survey data compared to quasi-experimental control groups are discussed. Comparisons of student responses revealed that after one year of the program, students in in the program were able to articulate with greater accuracy what the discipline of engineering is and what engineers do than in the year previous and also in relation to comparable students who had not yet been exposed to the program. These findings have potential positive implications for the impact of community-based partnerships on students’ understandings of engineering.

Parker, C., & Falk, M. L. (2016, June), It Takes a Village to Raise an Engineer Paper presented at 2016 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, New Orleans, Louisiana. 10.18260/p.25502

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