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STEM Moments in the Family Context throughout Engineering Design Challenge Activities (Fundamental)

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2021 ASEE Virtual Annual Conference Content Access


Virtual Conference

Publication Date

July 26, 2021

Start Date

July 26, 2021

End Date

July 19, 2022

Conference Session

Pre-College Engineering Education Division Technical Session 13

Tagged Division

Pre-College Engineering Education

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Paper Authors


Jungsun Kim Indiana University Bloomington Orcid 16x16

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Jungsun is a Post-Doctoral Research Scientist in Science Education at Indiana University. She received her Ph. D in Educational Psychology with a specialty in gifted, creative, and talented studies from Purdue University and a master's degree in Educational Psychology from the University at Albany-SUNY. She worked in various institutions as a curriculum developer and teacher in South Korea. Her research interests are on STEM talent development including creative computational thinking through investigating psycho-social factors in children's home environments and informal STEM outreach programs with peers and undergraduate STEM ambassadors using quantitative and qualitative approaches.

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Amber Simpson Binghamton University Orcid 16x16

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Amber Simpson is a Assistant Professor of Mathematics Education in the Teaching, Learning and Educational Leadership Department at Binghamton University. Her research interests include (1) examining individual’s identity(ies) in one or more STEM disciplines, (2) understanding the role of making and tinkering in formal and informal learning environments, and (3) investigating family engagement in and interactions around STEM-related activities. Before joining BU, she completed a post-doctoral fellowship at Indiana University-Bloomington. She earned a Ph.D. in mathematics education from Clemson University.

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Research on interactions between caregivers and children have long been reported in science museum experiences. However, the interactions between caregivers and children in home environments are rarely investigated. By comparison, research on the experience of the engineering design challenge activities in a family context is even less. This case study aimed to examine interactions of two families in their home as they engaged with engineering design challenge kits that have the potential to support children’s foundational understanding of STEM concepts. Using social-cultural constructivism as a lens, about 370 minutes of video data was analyzed. Data coding revealed three types of interactions that facilitated children’s understanding of STEM concepts: teaching, build up, and synthesized moments. These three moments were interdependent but included different emphasis of caregivers’ and children’s engagement. Although there is a limitation of this study to generalize the findings, our results contribute to understand how caregivers and children play with the materials, tools, and their ideas in their home environments and how caregivers used different facilitation approaches without any training prior to engaging with the engineering kits.

Kim, J., & Simpson, A. (2021, July), STEM Moments in the Family Context throughout Engineering Design Challenge Activities (Fundamental) Paper presented at 2021 ASEE Virtual Annual Conference Content Access, Virtual Conference. 10.18260/1-2--37726

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