July 26, 2021
July 26, 2021
July 19, 2022
Pre-College Engineering Education
Communication of ideas involves the simultaneous efforts of verbal, physical and neurological processes (Sherr, 2008). In elementary classrooms where young students are in the process of developing their verbal capacities, gestures from both the teacher and students serve as a key component of communication of new ideas and the processing of social information (Foglia & Wilson, 2013). Thus far, research efforts to understand how students utilize gestures in the communication and understanding of ideas have focused primarily on mathematics and the physical sciences (see Nemirovsky & Ferrara, 2009; Nuñez, Edwards & Matos, 1999; Shapiro, 2014; Sherr, 2008). With the introduction of the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS Lead States, 2013), students engineering is now included in K-12 instruction. Engineering education centers around designing and optimizing solutions to engineering challenges. The creation of a design solution differentiates engineering education from other classroom subject areas. Current work in engineering education focuses mostly on students’ words or drawings, leaving out gestures as an important component of students' communication of engineering designs. This study aimed to contribute to the general understanding of students’ use of gestures and manipulatives when discussing their engineering design solutions and is part of a larger NSF-funded project. Students participated in pre- and post-field trip classroom activities that extended learning done on an engineering-focused field trip to the local science center into the classroom. For this study, we focused on a module that challenged students to design a craft that either slowed the fall of a penny (classroom engineering design challenge) or hovered in a column of upward moving air (field trip engineering design challenge). We analyzed six videos (3 from the classroom and 3 from the field trip) of first-grade student explanations of their crafts to identify their use of gestures and prototyped craft design solutions in communicating. In this paper, we explore how student use of gestures and use of prototyped design solutions overlap and differentiate to understand how student sense-making can be understood through each.
Muller, A., & Garcia, L., & Skinner, R. K., & Harlow, D. (2021, July), Student Communication of Engineering Design Solutions (Fundamental) Paper presented at 2021 ASEE Virtual Annual Conference Content Access, Virtual Conference. https://peer.asee.org/37741
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