Asee peer logo

Systems Thinking Methodological Approach for Evaluating Pre-College Outreach (RTP)

Download Paper |

Conference

2019 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition

Location

Tampa, Florida

Publication Date

June 15, 2019

Start Date

June 15, 2019

End Date

June 19, 2019

Conference Session

Best Practices in Out-of-School Time

Tagged Division

Pre-College Engineering Education

Page Count

17

DOI

10.18260/1-2--33336

Permanent URL

https://peer.asee.org/33336

Download Count

73

Request a correction

Paper Authors

biography

Tawni Paradise Virginia Tech

visit author page

Tawni is a second year Ph.D. student in the Department of Engineering Education at Virginia Tech. She holds a B.S. and a B.A. in Industrial & Systems Engineering from The University of San Diego in San Diego, CA. She currently serves as a Student Support and Program Staff for the Center of Enhancement for Engineering Diversity where she teaches a seminar for first-year female engineering students and coordinates pre-college outreach events. As a researcher, she has previously served as a Graduate Research Assistant on the VT PEERS project studying middle school students regularly engaging in engineering activities. Drawing on previous experiences as a mathematics and engineering teacher, her current research interests include studying the disconnect between home and school, with a specific emphasis on prekindergarten students. She will continue to pursue these research interests in the coming years with the support of the NSF Graduate Research Fellowships Program. In addition, she dedicates her spare time to exhibiting at the Virginia Tech Science Festival and hosting several sessions for the Kindergarden-to-college (K2C) Initiative.

visit author page

biography

Ashley R. Taylor Virginia Tech

visit author page

Ashley Taylor is a doctoral candidate in engineering education at Virginia Polytechnic and State University, where she also serves as a program assistant for the Center for Enhancement of Engineering Diversity. Ashley received her MS in Mechanical Engineering, MPH in Public Health Education, and BS in Mechanical Engineering from Virginia Tech. Her research interests include access, equity, and inclusion in higher education, broadening participation in engineering, and the intersection of engineering education and international development.

visit author page

biography

Kim Lester Virginia Tech

visit author page

Kim holds a Bachelor of Science in Animal Science and a Doctor of Veterinary Medicine degree from Cornell University as well as a Bachelor of Arts in Elementary Education from the College of Santa Fe. After practicing small animal medicine, Kim changed her focus to children, teaching first through eighth grade in Albuquerque, New Mexico, with a focus on math and science in the middle grades. Following a move to Blacksburg, she worked as a Global Engagement Specialist for the Global Engineering, Engagement and Research Office in the Virginia Tech College of Engineering. She currently coordinates recruiting events and summer camps for the Center for the Enhancement of Engineering Diversity (CEED) as well as serving as the advisor for several undergraduate student outreach organizations.

visit author page

biography

Karis Boyd-Sinkler Virginia Tech

visit author page

Karis Boyd-Sinkler is a doctoral candidate in Engineering Education at Virginia Tech. She also serves as support staff for the Center for the Enhancement of Engineering Diversity where she is involved in the recruitment, outreach, and retention of engineering students. She researches and supports students from traditionally underserved and underrepresented backgrounds in engineering. Ms. Boyd received her B.S. in Engineering Science from the University of Virginia in 2014.

visit author page

biography

Bevlee A. Watford Virginia Tech

visit author page

Watford is Professor of Engineering Education, Associate Dean for Academic Affairs and Director of the Center for the Enhancement of Engineering Diversity, and past-President of ASEE.

visit author page

Download Paper |

Abstract

With a national initiative to broaden participation in engineering activities, precollege outreach events that focus on engineering are a solution that has been widely implemented. Precollege engineering outreach events are efforts to bring engineering-related activities, events or information to precollege students (PK – 12) or their parents in a location that is accessible to them. While previous studies elaborate on who is participating in these activities (stakeholders), why students choose to engage (inputs) and what students are gaining from their involvement (outputs), minimal research is available on the interconnections between the inputs, the process or experiences and the outputs of precollege engineering outreach. This paper used a lens of systems thinking to evaluate the effectiveness of our precollege engineering outreach events at University X. The Center for Y (CFY) at University X offers many precollege engineering outreach opportunities serving students from 6th to 12th grade and targeting various populations, such as first generation students, JROTC, female students, and international high school girls from North Africa, the Middle East and Central Asia. While basic relationships between elements of these programs will be represented, this paper also presents suggestions for implementing the systems thinking methodology used by the research team in a different setting. As these programs continue and become well established, we are able to identify the longitudinal outcomes of the program making for a more comprehensive understanding of the feedback that enhances or detracts from the success of the outreach events, such as the role of alumni. This paper leverages the combination of well-established and currently developing programs within the CFY department to fully capture the often nuanced interactions within the system of precollege outreach. This study will use interviews with various stakeholders involved in the engineering outreach engagement through CFY to conceptualize the reality of the current system surrounding engineering outreach. With an overall attempt to broaden participation in engineering activities with the hopes that more students will pursue and complete a degree in engineering by establishing a pipeline to engineering degrees, it is imperative that we conceptualize the relationship between inputs, processes and outputs within and among precollege engineering outreach programs. These results will be analyzed with soft systems methodologies and represented with system diagramming, namely systemigrams.

Paradise, T., & Taylor, A. R., & Lester, K., & Boyd-Sinkler, K., & Watford, B. A. (2019, June), Systems Thinking Methodological Approach for Evaluating Pre-College Outreach (RTP) Paper presented at 2019 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition , Tampa, Florida. 10.18260/1-2--33336

ASEE holds the copyright on this document. It may be read by the public free of charge. Authors may archive their work on personal websites or in institutional repositories with the following citation: © 2019 American Society for Engineering Education. Other scholars may excerpt or quote from these materials with the same citation. When excerpting or quoting from Conference Proceedings, authors should, in addition to noting the ASEE copyright, list all the original authors and their institutions and name the host city of the conference. - Last updated April 1, 2015