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Pilot Study Using a Culturally Relevant Approach to Expose Migratory High School Students to the Engineering Design Process (Work in Progress, Diversity)

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Conference

2022 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition

Location

Minneapolis, MN

Publication Date

August 23, 2022

Start Date

June 26, 2022

End Date

June 29, 2022

Conference Session

Pre-College Engineering Education Division Poster Session

Page Count

11

DOI

10.18260/1-2--40520

Permanent URL

https://peer.asee.org/40520

Download Count

210

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Paper Authors

biography

Dina Verdin Arizona State University, Polytechnic Campus

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Dina Verdín, PhD is an Assistant Professor of Engineering Education Systems and Design in the Ira A. Fulton Schools of Engineering at Arizona State University. She graduated from San Jose ́ State University with a BS in Industrial Systems Engineering and from Purdue University with an MS in Industrial Engineering and PhD in Engineering Education. Her research broadly focuses on broadening participation in engineering by focusing on the issues of access and persistence. She uses asset-based approaches to understand minoritized students’ lived experiences (i.e., including first-generation college students and Latinx). Specifically, she seeks to understand how first-generation college students and Latinx students author their identities as engineers and negotiate their multiple identities in the current culture of engineering.

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biography

Seline Szkupinski Quiroga

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Dr. Szkupinski Quiroga is a child of immigrants, born and raised in the Los Angeles area. She is an anthropologist with 25 years of applied research experience with immigrant, refugee, farmworker and other marginalized communities, and 15 years experience in advising and mentoring students, particularly those who are first-generation, Latino, and working-class. She is the co-PI and Director of the College Assistance Migrant Program (CAMP) and the Migratory Student Summer Academy (MSSA) at Arizona State University. Both of these successful programs provide holistic support to migrant and seasonal farmworker students with a focus on STEM.

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Abstract

Early experiences, provided through an individual’s environment, are critical for developing STEM interest, from a child’s early years to their secondary education. In-and-out-of-class learning experiences during high school have also positively impacted students’ decision to pursue a STEM major. Yet, studies have found that Latinx students are less likely to participate in science and mathematics out-of-school programs than their White peers. More so, migratory students, predominantly Latinx, who are the children of migratory agricultural workers are often left out of the conversation of STEM education equity. Migratory students face unique challenges due to their parents’ mobile lifestyle of agricultural work, which entails following the seasonal harvest. Consequently, students often miss extended periods of schooling during the academic year, are typically a year behind in the curriculum, their family’s income is below the federal poverty level, are predominately English Learners, and largely attend Title 1 schools. Despite the academic challenges these students face, the pathway into engineering should not be considered closed. Thus, to provide an opportunity for migratory high school students to consider an engineering career in their future, an engineering design activity was developed using a culturally relevant pedagogical approach incorporated into an existing virtual Summer Academy Program for migratory youth. The virtual activity followed the lives of two fictional characters, Sol y Luna, who were depicted as high school-aged students whose families were agricultural workers. The aim was to create an environment where the participating migratory students could see themselves as students applying the engineering design process to solve a need closely aligned to their community. The activity was presented through a web-based platform, offered interactive prompts, read similar to a comic book, and incorporated a TinkerCAD activity.

This work in progress paper will describe the process of creating a virtual engineering design activity grounded in a culturally relevant pedagogical approach and present preliminary findings from pre-and post-survey responses. Sixty-three migratory high school students participated in the summer academy; however, only 18 students completed the pre-and post-survey. A paired-samples t-test was used to determine if there were significant changes in mean scores following the completion of the virtual activity.

After having experienced how engineering could be used to solve a design problem closely aligned to their community, migratory students’ perceptions of engineering as a tool to create change in their community positively increased. Migratory students’ confidence in their abilities to tinker (i.e., applying technical concepts in engineering and assembling, disassembling things) significantly increased after 3D modeling a component of the design solution using TinkerCAD. Most interestingly, students’ perceptions of being recognized as an engineer by peers, teachers, and through a hands-on experience (i.e., engineering recognition construct) increased after participating in the design activity. Most interestingly students’ perceptions of being recognized as an engineer by peers, teachers, and through a hands-on experience (i.e., engineering recognition construct) increased after participating in the intervention. This study offers a preliminary understanding of how a virtual culturally relevant activity for migratory students can have empirically significant effects on their learning dispositions and perceptions of themselves as agents of change.

Verdin, D., & Szkupinski Quiroga, S. (2022, August), Pilot Study Using a Culturally Relevant Approach to Expose Migratory High School Students to the Engineering Design Process (Work in Progress, Diversity) Paper presented at 2022 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, Minneapolis, MN. 10.18260/1-2--40520

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