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Teacher-led Reflection Activity

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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 Resource Exchange

Tagged Division

Pre-College Engineering Education

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Paper Authors


Tawni Paradise Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University

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Tawni is a third year Ph.D. candidate 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. 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 continues to pursue these research interests with the support of the NSF Graduate Research Fellowships Program. She previously served as a Student Support and Program Staff for the Center of Enhancement for Engineering Diversity where she taught a seminar for first-year female engineering students and coordinated precollege 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. In addition, she dedicates her spare time to exhibiting at the Virginia Tech Science Festival and hosting several sessions for the Kindergarten-to-college (K2C) Initiative.

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Malle R Schilling Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University

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Malle Schilling is currently pursuing a PhD in Engineering Education from Virginia Tech. Malle graduated in 2018 with a Bachelor's degree in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Dayton. Her research interests include broadening participation in engineering, the use of assets-based frameworks and pedagogies in engineering education, rural K-12 engineering education, and engineering identity.

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STEM continues to be nationally recognized as an important element to support student engagement and interest in engineering careers, but we still lack resources and support for teachers to integrate STEM into their classrooms. Incorporating engineering into the classroom can be challenging but providing teachers with the support and resources to be successful is critical. One way to support teachers is by providing them with curriculum resources that they can immediately integrate into their classroom. Student reflections can give teachers an idea of the experiences their students are having with engineering activities and can allow for teachers to shift or adapt content to meet the needs of their students. This paper discusses one such reflection activity in the context of an interorganizational collaboration between university affiliates, industry partners and middle school teachers to provide opportunities for rural youth to explore engineering through hands-on activities. The reflection activity was developed as a way for teachers to gauge students’ understanding of the “Things to Know (TTK) About Engineering,” a list of outcomes developed from the collaboration’s goals. Students were asked to respond with their level of agreement with statements from the TTK, for example, “engineering is in every community” and “engineers learn from their mistakes.” After students responded, teachers were encouraged to have discussions with their students, asking them to reflect more deeply about why they responded the way they did and to provide specific examples related to the prompts. This reflection activity was designed such that teachers would be able to do this during their “homeroom” with their students in a timeframe of 30 minutes or less. Not only does this reflection activity provide an evaluation of our general programming, it also serves as a resource for teachers to utilize in the future when having discussions about engineering in their classroom.

Paradise, T., & Schilling, M. R. (2021, July), Teacher-led Reflection Activity Paper presented at 2021 ASEE Virtual Annual Conference Content Access, Virtual Conference.

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