Virtual On line
June 22, 2020
June 22, 2020
June 26, 2021
Pre-College Engineering Education
In recent decades, invention education programs have been posited as a way to engage students in STEM through the hands-on process of designing their own inventions. The K12 InVenture Prize (IP) program is an example of one such program, offering a platform for school-based invention education designed to be implemented during the academic year with Kindergarten through 12th-grade students. Previous literature has documented teachers’ perspectives on the positive student outcomes associated with participating in the K12 IP program, as well as the challenges of implementing the K12 IP curriculum during the school year. Based on these findings, the InVenture Prize Summer Accelerator was created with the purpose of exposing a greater number of K12 students to invention education. A week-long summer program, modelled after the year-long K12 IP curriculum, was designed and opened to rising 6th through 8th grade students. During the program, students were guided through the steps of the Design Thinking Process as they created their own inventions. The curriculum focused on developing students’ engineering knowledge, invention skills, and 21st century skills through team-based activities related to the steps in the Design Thinking Process, including empathizing, researching patents, prototyping, and pitching ideas. This paper presents findings from an evaluation of the 2019 InVenture Prize Summer Accelerator. This paper specifically addresses calls from the existing literature to document students’ self-reported outcomes of participating in InVenture programs, and is the first to describe the ways in which the K12 IP program can be successfully adapted into a one-week summer program. Data were gathered through both qualitative and quantitative methods. Student outcomes and satisfaction were assessed using a pre- and post-survey design. Additionally, a focus group was conducted to investigate students’ perspective regarding specific activities and content included in the program. Pre-survey and focus group findings indicate that students were familiar with program content knowledge and 21st century skills prior to beginning the program. Despite this, there were increases in students’ confidence in program content knowledge, specifically knowledge related to the Design Thinking Process, and students’ 21st century skills, such as teamwork and communication. Additionally, students’ positive attitudes towards STEM and their intent to persist in STEM were maintained over the course of the week. Students were also satisfied with their Summer Accelerator experience and expressed an interest in continuing to invent after the program. These findings support the limited body of research on student outcomes associated with participation in InVenture programs, and offers unique insights into the outcomes associated with turning a school-based invention education program into a one-week summer program in an out-of-school-time context.
Boice, K. L., & Cappelli, C. J., & Alemdar, M., & Patel, J. N., & Moore, R. A. (2020, June), Reinventing the InVenture Prize: Transforming a Year-long Invention Program into a Week-long University-based Summer Program Paper presented at 2020 ASEE Virtual Annual Conference Content Access, Virtual On line . 10.18260/1-2--35137
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