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Student Perceptions of and Learning in Maker Spaces Embedded in Their Undergraduate Engineering Preparation Programs

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Conference

2020 ASEE Virtual Annual Conference Content Access

Location

Virtual On line

Publication Date

June 22, 2020

Start Date

June 22, 2020

End Date

June 26, 2021

Conference Session

Student Perceptions of Self-efficacy, Success, and Identity

Tagged Division

Educational Research and Methods

Page Count

18

DOI

10.18260/1-2--35230

Permanent URL

https://peer.asee.org/35230

Download Count

174

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Paper Authors

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Louis Nadelson University of Central Arkansas

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Louis S. Nadelson has a BS from Colorado State University, a BA from the Evergreen State College, a MEd from Western Washington University, and a PhD in educational psychology from UNLV. His scholarly interests include all areas of STEM teaching and learning, inservice and preservice teacher professional development, program evaluation, multidisciplinary research, and conceptual change. Nadelson uses his over 20 years of high school and college math, science, computer science, and engineering teaching to frame his research on STEM teaching and learning. Nadelson brings a unique perspective of research, bridging experience with practice and theory to explore a range of interests in STEM teaching and learning.

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Idalis Villanueva Utah State University Orcid 16x16 orcid.org/0000-0002-8767-2576

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Dr. Villanueva is an Associate Professor in the Engineering Education Department at the University of Florida. Her multiple roles as an engineer, engineering educator, engineering educational researcher, and professional development mentor for underrepresented populations has aided her in the design and integration of educational and physiological technologies to research 'best practices' for student professional development and training. In addition, she is developing methodologies around hidden curriculum, academic emotions and physiology, and engineering makerspaces.

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Jana Bouwma-Gearhart Oregon State University

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Jana L. Bouwma-Gearhart is an associate professor of STEM education at Oregon State University. Her research widely concerns improving education at research universities. Her earlier research explored enhancements to faculty motivation to improve undergraduate education. Her more recent research concerns organizational change towards postsecondary STEM education improvement at research universities, including the interactions of levers (people, organizations, policy, initiatives) of change and documenting the good, hard work required across disciplinary boundaries to achieve meaningful change in STEM education.

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Estefany Soto University of Central Arkansas

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Estefany Soto is pursuing a Ph.D. in Counseling Psychology at the University of Central Arkansas. She is working as a graduate research assistant with makerspace research and other STEM-related projects.

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Cindy Ann Lenhart Oregon State University

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Cindy Lenhart is currently pursuing her Ph.D. in Education at Oregon State University. Her scholarly interest includes the intersection of postsecondary STEM faculty teaching and learning environments and organizational change. Cindy previously served as the Vice President for Community College Relations for Achieving the Dream, Inc., managing the Working Students Success Network, Engaging Adjunct Faculty, and other funded initiatives as well as leading Achieving the Dream’s teaching and learning programs and network-engagement activities. Prior to joining Achieving the Dream, Cindy served for more than 20 years in community colleges as an associate vice president for instruction, a department chair, and a faculty member. Cindy holds a B.S and M.S in education and began her career as a middle and high school teacher.

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Kate Youmans Utah State University

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Kate Youmans is a PhD candidate in the Department of Engineering Education at Utah State University. Kate earned her bachelor's degree in Mechanical Engineering from Worcester Polytechnic Institute and worked in the medical device industry designing surgical instruments before focusing on engineering outreach in MIT’s Office of Engineering Outreach Programs. After receiving her master's degree in Science Education from Boston University, Kate helped open the American International School of Utah, a K-12 charter school in Salt Lake City. In her role as STEM Director Kate developed the schools programs in Computer Science, Robotics and Design Thinking.

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Yoon Ha Choi Oregon State University

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Yoon Ha Choi is a PhD candidate in Science Education at Oregon State University. Yoon Ha holds a BA in Economics from the University of Chicago and an EdM from the Harvard Graduate School of Education. Yoon Ha's research interests include equity and diversity in STEM education, women of color in STEM, student experiences in higher education, and feminist narratives.

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Abstract

Student Perceptions of the Makerspace use in Undergraduate Engineering Preparation Programs

Makerspaces, a location with tools (electronic and hand) for rapid prototyping, have become more widely used in undergraduate engineering preparation programs. There is a general expectation that students using the makerspaces will gain deeper knowledge of engineering and therefore, will be better prepared as engineering professionals.

We have been researching makerspaces for over 2 years, focusing primarily on faculty members and makerspace directors and staff. We have gathered some data from students via interviews, however, our student data has been rather limited to a few universities. We are seeking to expand our knowledge of engineering students’ perceptions, engagement, and learning in makerspaces. In our research on makerspaces, we have found issues associated with students’ motivation to learn, their perceptions and understanding of the work of engineers, potential access to the spaces, feelings of inclusion or belonging in the space and in the profession, and their development of engineering professional identity.

There is a lack of empirical data from multiple universities available to explain the variables that we have exposed through our research. Therefore, we are engaging in a large-scale data collection from students enrolled in undergraduate engineering preparation programs in which a makerspace is embedded within the college of engineering and has been in place for a minimum of 3 years. Using web searches, and other sources of information (e.g. references from other researchers or faculty members), we have identified 24 institutions that meet our criteria. While there are many more institutions with makerspaces that are available for engineering students, the spaces are also open to the general student body, and therefore, not embedded within a college of engineering and less likely to be integrated into the undergraduate engineering preparation program curriculum.

To gather our data, we created an online survey with a combination of quantitative and qualitative items. We aligned the survey items with variables of motivation, inclusion, belonging, professional knowledge, and professional identity, as associated with makerspaces. We validated our survey with an advisory board composed of members with expertise in making and engineering education. Based on their feedback, we made minor changes to our survey. We worked with Qualtrics to assemble a panel of undergraduates from our identified institutions to collect data.

We are currently in our data collection phase and will report the results in our report.

Nadelson, L., & Villanueva, I., & Bouwma-Gearhart, J., & Soto, E., & Lenhart, C. A., & Youmans, K., & Choi, Y. H. (2020, June), Student Perceptions of and Learning in Maker Spaces Embedded in Their Undergraduate Engineering Preparation Programs Paper presented at 2020 ASEE Virtual Annual Conference Content Access, Virtual On line . 10.18260/1-2--35230

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