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The Building Blocks for a Successful STEAM Camp: How to Utilize Learning Blocks to Make Engagement Happen (Evaluation)

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Conference

2016 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition

Location

New Orleans, Louisiana

Publication Date

June 26, 2016

Start Date

June 26, 2016

End Date

August 28, 2016

ISBN

978-0-692-68565-5

ISSN

2153-5965

Conference Session

K-12 & Pre-College Engineering Division Evaluation: Exploring the Impact of Summer Programs on K-12 Youth (Part 2)

Tagged Division

Pre-College Engineering Education Division

Tagged Topic

Diversity

Page Count

18

DOI

10.18260/p.26096

Permanent URL

https://peer.asee.org/26096

Download Count

129

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Paper Authors

biography

Mike Thomas Pitcher University of Texas - El Paso

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Mike Pitcher is the Director of Academic Technologies at the University of Texas at El Paso. He has had experience in learning in both a traditional university program as well as the new online learning model, which he utilizes in his current position consulting with faculty about the design of new learning experiences. His experience in technology and teaching started in 1993 as a student lab technician and has continued to expand and grow over the years, both technically as well as pedagogically. Currently he works in one of the most technically outstanding buildings in the region where he provides support to students, faculty, and staff in implementing technology inside and outside the classroom, researching new engineering education strategies as well as the technologies to support the 21st century classroom (online and face to face). He also has assisted both the campus as well as the local community in developing technology programs that highlight student skills development in ways that engage and attract individuals towards STEAM and STEM fields by showcasing how those skills impact the current project in real-world ways that people can understand and be involved in. As part of a university that is focused on supporting the 21st century student demographic he continues to innovate and research on how we can design new methods of learning to educate both our students and communities on how STEM and STEAM make up a large part of that vision and our future.

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Pedro Arturo Espinoza University of Texas - El Paso

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Pedro worked in the manufacturing industry as a Quality Control Engineer for some years before acquiring his current position as an Instructional Technologist at The University of Texas at El Paso (UTEP). For over ten years in this role, he has worked with a team of managers that oversee various learning environments and systems in the Academic Technologies Department at UTEP. He leads a group of more than 35 multidisciplinary student employees that help support a wide range of technologies for classrooms and other learning spaces, including videoconferencing rooms.
In addition to teaching a Foundations of Engineering course, Pedro also provides technology training on Mac OS X, CISCO networking and various other technology topics. He also enjoys the role of social media coordinator for Academic Technologies to showcase the department’s services and events. Pedro received his Bachelor of Science degree in Electrical Engineering and a Master of Science in Engineering with a concentration in Engineering Education from UTEP.

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Hugo Gomez University of Texas - El Paso

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Mr. Hugo Gomez works as an Instructional Technologist at the University of Texas at El Paso, he is focused on expanding the professional and technical skill sets of our students and faculty community to better prepare them for the world of technology today and tomorrow. He works alongside a wide assortment of students, faculty and staff on campus to make sure their technology toolsets are up to date. Furthermore, Hugo provides workshops to over half of the student population at UTEP and as such, has been instrumental in providing the behind the scenes support to all these courses. Mr. Gomez also collaborates in the Learning Lab team to explore and implement new educational strategies in the classroom. Mr. Gomez has a Masters Degree in Engineering Education from The University of Texas at El Paso. He has participated in the UTEACH summer program as a Technology Instructor in which he provided workshops on website design, movie creation and computer networking. In addition, Mr. Gomez teaches UNIV1301 Foundations of Engineering, were students learn academic, personal and engineering skills, among many other abilities that help them understand their opportunities and responsibilities as engineering students.

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Randy Hazael Anaya University of Texas - El Paso

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Randy Anaya, Instructional Technologist at the University of Texas at El Paso. Received a BFA in Graphic Design with a minor in Multimedia design from the Universidad Autónoma de Ciudad Juarez, Mexico. Received a BA in Media Advertising at UTEP and is currently enrolled as a Master of Interdisciplinary Studies with an emphasis on the use of art and technology in teaching and learning.
Randy works on research and development of applying the creative process to workshops, trainings and student engagement. Currently doing extensive research and deployment of emerging technologies to redefine the classroom, mentoring and excellence through student interaction.

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Hector Erick Lugo Nevarez University of Texas - El Paso

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Mr. Hector Lugo works as a Student Technology Success Coordinator at The University of Texas at El Paso. He holds a B.S. in Electrical Engineering. He is currently enrolled as a Master of Science with a Major in Electrical Engineering.
His motivation and passion pushes him into research in wireless communication, especially in Bluetooth Low Energy and Near Field Communication as well as building projects and fostering innovation with faculty and staff members. As part of the Learning Environments division, the idea to develop, oversee and assess engaging students to expand their knowledge and creativity by innovating new technologies application for Engineering Education is currently under way to engage the university and the community.
Concluding, Mr. Lugo’s ambition is to encourage students to focus in science, technology and engineer abilities in order to expand their professional potential.

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Herminia Hemmitt University of Texas - El Paso

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Mrs. Herminia Hemmitt is part of the Learning Environments team in Academic Technologies at The University of Texas at El Paso. She is responsible for coordinating classroom technology upgrades and implementations to ensure project deadlines and anticipated goals are met. Her educational background in organizational and corporate communication is utilized in consultations with faculty and staff about their learning environments in order to correctly match them to appropriate learning spaces or adapt existing spaces to meet their pedagogical and technological needs. Her focus is on the specific user to make sure that classroom needs, technical needs, and/or event needs are met.

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Oscar Antonio Perez University of Texas - El Paso

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Prof. Oscar Perez received his B.S. and Masters in Electrical Engineering from the University of Texas at El Paso with a special focus on data communications. Awarded the Woody Everett award from the American Society for engineering education August 2011 for the research on the impact of mobile devices in the classroom. He is currently pursuing a PhD in Electrical and Computer Engineering. Prof. Perez has been teaching the Basic Engineering (BE) – BE 1301 course for over 8 years. Lead the design for the development of the new Basic Engineering course (now UNIV 1301) for engineering at UTEP: Engineering, Science and University Colleges. Developed over 5 new courses, including UTEP technology & society core curriculum classes specifically for incoming freshman with a STEM background. Prof. Perez was awarded the 2014 “University of Texas at El Paso award for Outstanding Teaching”. Prof. Perez has over thirteen years of professional experience working as an Electrical and Computer Engineer providing technical support to faculty and students utilizing UGLC classrooms and auditoriums. Mr. Perez is committed to the highest level of service to provide an exceptional experience to all of the UGLC guests. Mr. Perez strongly believes that by providing exceptional customer service that UGLC patrons will return to make use of the various services the university offers. Mr. Perez enjoys working on the professional development of the students’ employees at the UGLC. He shares with his student employees his practical experience in using electrical engineering concepts and computer technologies to help in everyday real-world applications. Mr. Perez has worked with the UTeach program at UTEP since its creation to streamline the transition process for engineering students from local area high schools to college by equipping their teachers with teaching strategies and technologies each summer. Oscar enjoys teamwork, believes in education as a process for achieving life-long learning rather than as a purely academic pursuit. He currently works on maintaining, upgrading and designing the classroom of the future. Mr. Perez is inspired because he enjoys working with people and technology in the same environment.

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Abstract

The challenge to setting up your first maker or STEAM camp can be very daunting to new comers to the game; you know what you want to teach and even the learning outcomes but you’re having a huge challenge in how to formalize that into an actual agenda, schedule, camp, or even a single class. These are all questions that we had when we went to setup our first camp called Tech-E. From that process and with refinement we have created a more formal process in which you merely string together what we call learning blocks to create a simple formula to setup maker and STEAM camps. This same strategy can be utilized to setup classes in a more formal K-12 classroom setting as well.

We will look at how the concept of learning blocks was created, refined, and utilized in our most recent two Tech-E camps. How hands-on and PBL (Project Based Learning) take the center stage in this strategy and how building a camp or even a lesson plan from learning blocks creates a totally immersive and engaging environment for the learner and makes it much more plug and play for the designer/instructor.

Our paper will also focus on the differences between implementing these learning blocks in a K-12 mixed environment (all grade levels, male and female participants) versus a much more homogenous cohort (all high school, all female) type of camp. A showcase of student products (from reflective pieces to actual creations) will be discussed along with how “check-ins” are built into the learning block challenges as a means to embed assessment into the project workflows dynamically and strategically without obstruction to achievement and/or engagement.

Pitcher, M. T., & Espinoza, P. A., & Gomez, H., & Anaya, R. H., & Lugo Nevarez, H. E., & Hemmitt, H., & Perez, O. A. (2016, June), The Building Blocks for a Successful STEAM Camp: How to Utilize Learning Blocks to Make Engagement Happen (Evaluation) Paper presented at 2016 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, New Orleans, Louisiana. 10.18260/p.26096

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