Virtual On line
June 22, 2020
June 22, 2020
June 26, 2021
Pre-College Engineering Education
To promote an integrated Science, Mathematics, Engineering, and Technology (STEM) education in K-12 school levels and cultivate STEM literacy in the society, there is a growing interest in including engineering content in K-12 curricula. A review of literature suggests that teachers’ knowledge and attitudes towards the STEM fields are positively correlated with their students’ knowledge and attitudes towards the STEM fields. Hence, it is central to explore and document the characteristics and qualifications of the teachers in teaching engineering content.
This paper describes a two-week-long residential professional development (PD) activity designed for STEM teachers to improve their engineering content and attitudes and reports the findings from the descriptive and inferential quantitative analyses of the data collected at the PD workshops. Presented are the meaningful correlations among the teachers’ perceptions of and familiarity with design, engineering, and technology (DET) and their students’ STEM attitudes.
A group of faculty and researchers developed the engineering-focused PD workshops to instruct the teachers about the cutting-edge technologies related to the Internet of things (IoT) and additive manufacturing. The overarching goals of the project was to introduce underrepresented students to the authentic engineering activities and varied career opportunities in the STEM fields and improve students’ attitudes toward STEM through preparing their teachers to be effective in teaching these concepts in the classroom.
The two-week PD workshops were held at a Research I University campus in Summer 2017 and Summer 2018. Participating teachers learned about the basics of the engineering design principles, IoT technologies, computer-aided design tools, and additive manufacturing processes. The teachers also received training on how to develop lesson plans that incorporate the engineering content into the existing school curricula.
The research questions in this study were 1) to what extent did the teachers’ participation in the PD workshops affect their perceptions of engineering and their familiarity with teaching DET; and 2) What are the relations among teachers’ perceptions of engineering, familiarities with teaching the DET, and their students’ attitudes towards the STEM fields? The design of the study was a pre- and post-test survey. A DET survey was administered to the participating teachers before and after the PD workshop activities. The DET survey is a five-point Likert-scale that consists of 40 items. The instrument focused on measuring the participants’ perceptions and familiarity with the DET concepts. A S-STEM survey was also administrated to the teachers’ students at the beginning and the end of the school year. The S_STEM survey is a five-point Likert-scale with 37 items. The S_STEM survey captured the students’ attitudes towards the STEM fields and the 21st-century skills. In the paper we will describe the research conducted and discuss the implications for cultivating STEM literacy and integrated STEM education. Both pre- and post-comparison results and correlation results are presented.
Cevik, E., & Johnson, M., & Yalvac, B., & Whitfield, J., & Kuttolamadom, M., & Porter, J. R., & Morgan, J. A. (2020, June), Professional Development Activities for Secondary STEM Teachers and Students’ Engineering Content Knowledge and Attitudes Paper presented at 2020 ASEE Virtual Annual Conference Content Access, Virtual On line . 10.18260/1-2--35089
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