Crystal City, Virginia
April 29, 2018
April 29, 2018
May 2, 2018
Diversity and Pre K-12 Education
At the University of California, Berkeley’s Lawrence Hall of Science, youth from groups traditionally underrepresented in engineering participate in a fun and inspiring program called TechHive. The Lawrence Hall of Science is the university’s public science center, and includes, among other facilities, a museum with many hands-on exhibits that engage visitors in the practices of engineering. In TechHive, youth work with museum educators to create visitor experiences. Through the 10-week program, participating teens gain access to software, fabrication tools, engineering expertise, peers, and social media to allow self-expression while learning 21st century skills. The program is front-loaded with beginner-friendly workshops in programming and mechatronics. This allows for an uninterrupted design session where participants are encouraged to work in teams to make meaningful design choices. Our user design process asks participants to imagine what would delight young museum visitors in an experience such as a robot petting zoo. Participants discover that programming, engineering and rapid prototyping along with art, creativity, storytelling and humor, are essential skills in the design process. At the end of the program, TechHive teens offer a camp for young museum visitors that emphasizes exhibition over competition, making the camp more inviting to beginners and youth from diverse cultures. The Hall has offered TechHive for almost five years and has recruited and retained girls and youth from populations traditionally underrepresented in engineering. For example, last year, our youth were 50% female and 50% male students. In addition a variety of ethnic backgrounds were represented: 40% Latino or Hispanic; 27% Asian; 15% African-American; 12% White; and 18% other ethnicities. This paper will demonstrate and describe: 1. Recruitment and retention strategies that work; 2. Activities offered to students that help prepare them for college and career pathways to engineering; 3. Future research plans to demonstrate effectiveness of replicable strategies.
Hartry, A., & Werner-Avidon, M., & Hsi, S., & Ortiz, A. J., & Quigley, K. C. (2018, April), TechHive: Team-based, Real-world Engineering Challenges for Teens Paper presented at 2018 CoNECD - The Collaborative Network for Engineering and Computing Diversity Conference, Crystal City, Virginia. https://peer.asee.org/29583
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