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Middle School Students' Engineering Discussions: What Initiates Evidence-Based Reasoning? (Fundamental)

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Conference

2017 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition

Location

Columbus, Ohio

Publication Date

June 24, 2017

Start Date

June 24, 2017

End Date

June 28, 2017

Conference Session

Pre-College: Fundamental Research in Engineering Education (1)

Tagged Division

Pre-College Engineering Education Division

Tagged Topic

Diversity

Page Count

15

Permanent URL

https://peer.asee.org/28668

Download Count

31

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Paper Authors

biography

Emilie A Siverling Purdue University, West Lafayette (College of Engineering)

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Emilie A. Siverling is a Ph.D. Student in Engineering Education at Purdue University. She received a B.S. in Materials Science and Engineering from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, and she is a former high school chemistry and physics teacher. Her research interests are in K-12 STEM integration, primarily using engineering design to support secondary science curricula and instruction.

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Elizabeth Suazo-Flores Purdue University

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Elizabeth Suazo-Flores is a Ph.D. candidate in Mathematics Education at Purdue University. She is a former secondary mathematics teacher graduated from a Chilean university. Elizabeth's research is centered on mathematics teachers' knowledge. Currently, she is exploring a middle school mathematics teacher's practical knowledge using personal experiential research methods.

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Corey A Mathis California State University, Bakersfield

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Corey Mathis is currently an instructor at California State University, Bakersfield for Teacher Education and has recently completed her doctoral degree from Purdue University. She received her B.S. in biology and her M.E.D. in secondary education from Northern Arizona University and is a former high school science and technology teacher. Her research interest includes improving students learning of science and engineering through integrated STEM curricula.

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Tamara J Moore Purdue University, West Lafayette (College of Engineering) Orcid 16x16 orcid.org/0000-0002-7956-4479

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Tamara J. Moore, Ph.D., is an Associate Professor in the School of Engineering Education and Director of STEM Integration in the INSPIRE Institute at Purdue University. Dr. Moore’s research is centered on the integration of STEM concepts in K-12 and postsecondary classrooms in order to help students make connections among the STEM disciplines and achieve deep understanding. Her work focuses on defining STEM integration and investigating its power for student learning. Tamara Moore received an NSF Early CAREER award in 2010 and a Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers (PECASE) in 2012.

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Siddika Selcen Guzey Purdue University, West Lafayette (College of Engineering)

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Dr. Guzey is an assistant professor of science education at Purdue University. Her research and teaching focus on integrated STEM Education.

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Kyle Stephen Whipple University of Minnesota

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Abstract

Curriculum and policy documents such as the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS) have contributed to increased engineering content and practices in P-12 classrooms in the United States. Within NGSS, there are eight scientific and engineering practices to be promoted in P-12 STEM classrooms. One of these practices is engaging in argument from evidence. In science education, this practice is typically called scientific argumentation or simply argumentation, and it involves making claims about natural phenomena. Due to the differences in the goals and practices of science and engineering, an alternative model of engaging in argument from evidence is needed for engineering. We have previously proposed the practice of evidence-based reasoning (EBR) for this model, which involves justifying design ideas and decisions. Specifically, in this project, we are interested in answering the following research question: What initiates the need for middle school students to use evidence-based reasoning while they are generating a solution to an engineering design problem in a STEM integration unit?

We explored audio transcripts of one 7th grade student team while they were participating in a STEM integration unit. In the unit, Loon Nesting Platforms, the engineering problem is for students to design a floating platform on which loons can build nests. In this study, we focused on the portion of the unit when students were participating in the solution generation phase, which included six full class periods of audio transcripts. This means that the audio data included conversations about planning, implementing, testing, and evaluating an initial design and a redesign. In a first level of analysis, instances of EBR were identified in the audio transcripts; a revised version of Toulmin’s Argument Pattern was used to assist identification of EBR. In the second level of analysis, these instances of EBR were analyzed via open coding to determine the initiating prompt for the students to use EBR.

Preliminary results show a variety of needs that initiated students’ use of EBR. These categories include clarifying with team, responding to adult, negotiating with team, and sharing, among others. Example instances of EBR that fall into these categories will be shared in the paper. These results show that a variety of situations can instigate EBR during student discussions about engineering design ideas and solutions. The information gained in this study builds our foundational understanding of EBR in pre-college engineering contexts.

Siverling, E. A., & Suazo-Flores, E., & Mathis, C. A., & Moore, T. J., & Guzey, S. S., & Whipple, K. S. (2017, June), Middle School Students' Engineering Discussions: What Initiates Evidence-Based Reasoning? (Fundamental) Paper presented at 2017 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, Columbus, Ohio. https://peer.asee.org/28668

ASEE holds the copyright on this document. It may be read by the public free of charge. Authors may archive their work on personal websites or in institutional repositories with the following citation: © 2017 American Society for Engineering Education. Other scholars may excerpt or quote from these materials with the same citation. When excerpting or quoting from Conference Proceedings, authors should, in addition to noting the ASEE copyright, list all the original authors and their institutions and name the host city of the conference. - Last updated April 1, 2015