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The Business Case for Engineering Skills-based Volunteerism in K-12 Education

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Conference

2015 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition

Location

Seattle, Washington

Publication Date

June 14, 2015

Start Date

June 14, 2015

End Date

June 17, 2015

ISBN

978-0-692-50180-1

ISSN

2153-5965

Conference Session

Civic Engagement and Volunteerism in Engineering

Tagged Division

Community Engagement Division

Tagged Topic

Diversity

Page Count

42

Page Numbers

26.1508.1 - 26.1508.42

DOI

10.18260/p.24846

Permanent URL

https://peer.asee.org/24846

Download Count

310

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Paper Authors

biography

Michael Richey The Boeing Company

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Michael Richey is an Associate Technical Fellow currently assigned to support workforce development and engineering education research. Michael is responsible for leading learning science research, which focuses on learning ecologies, complex adaptive social systems and learning curves. Michael pursues this research agenda with the goal of understanding the interplay between innovation, knowledge transfer and economies of scale as they are manifested in questions of growth, evolvability, adaptability and sustainability.

Additional responsibilities include providing business leadership for engineering technical and professional educational programs. This includes topics in advanced aircraft construction, composites structures and product lifecycle management. Michael is responsible for leading cross-organizational teams from academic, government focusing on how engineering education must acknowledge and incorporate this new information and knowledge to build new methodologies and paradigms that engage these developments in practice. The objective of this research is focused on achieving continuous improvement and sustainable excellence in engineering education.

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Deepa Gupta The Boeing Company

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Deepa is responsible for developing Boeing’s strategies to support early learning, primary and secondary education, and ensure alignment with post-secondary workforce initiatives across the company. Throughout her career, she has worked on a range of issues including U.S. public health, global health and economic development, the arts, and nonprofit capacity development. Prior to Boeing, she was a senior program officer for the MacArthur Foundation and a consultant with McKinsey. In 2012, President Obama appointed her to the National Council on the Arts. Deepa has an MBA from Northwestern University, an MPA from Harvard University, and an AB from the University of Chicago.

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Timothy Kieran O'Mahony University of Washington, College of Education LIFE Center

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Current research interests involve socio-cultural perspectives on cognition, learning, graphical representation, and use of technology in formal and informal learning environments. I explore diffusion of innovations systemically across multiple learning environments and stakeholder communities. In particular, I am interested in teacher/learner interaction across various settings, including multi-dimensional design-based implementation research (DBIR) in various workplaces and academic institutions. In addition, my work looks at the impact of co-constructed methodologies in settings that are a mix of informal sites as well as traditional (but evolved) classrooms. I am engaged in a longitudinal research project for teacher professional development in informal learning environments and blended arenas (MOOCs and SPOCs) that impact student performance and engagement. I look at questions involving fluency in geo-literacy around consequential everyday issues and ‘sense of place.’ For this research I examine prevailing western worldviews of science that are constructed and derivative of Cartesian principles and philosophic underpinnings and compare them with other worldviews that take native and aboriginal account of the ways we view our relationship with the planet and with each other.

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Laura E. Meyers City University of Seattle

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Laura E. Meyers is an associate faculty member in the School of Applied Leadership at City University of Seattle; meyers@cityu.edu.

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Fabian Zender The Boeing Company

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Fabian Zender is an Engineering Performance Coach at The Boeing Company where he participates in research in the Technical and Professional Learning Solutions group. He obtained his undergraduate and graduate degree in Aerospace Engineering from the Georgia Institute of Technology. In his research Fabian focuses on learning as a sociotechnical system, utilizing data analytics and learning science and combining them with traditional engineering approaches to advance personalized learning and optimize organizational performance.

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Danielle LoVallo Vermeer The Boeing Company

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Danielle L. Vermeer is a strategist focused on corporate citizenship, employee community engagement, and social innovation. In her current role as a Strategy Analyst on the Global Corporate Citizenship team at Boeing, she provides strategic support and coordination for GCC’s K-12 education investments, and contributes to the company’s integrated corporate citizenship and skills-based volunteerism initiatives. Prior to Boeing, Danielle worked as a program manager at a philanthropy and social impact consulting firm, advising philanthropists, foundations, and impact investors on how to be more strategic in their investments in education, environmental sustainability, global health, and other areas. She is also a Fellow at the StartingBloc Institute for Social Innovation, a network for over 2,200 emerging leaders in corporate responsibility, social enterprise, and nonprofits. Danielle has a B.S. with honors from Georgetown University's School of Foreign Service.

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Abstract

Engineers-as-Teachers Incite Business Value and Ignite a Generation of Curious LearnersIn the spirit of inimitable American educators Horace Mann and Maron Tribus, this studyexplores the role and purpose of education in society. Specifically, Mann’s axiom that educationis a great equalizer of the conditions of men (1848); and Tribus’ axioms, that (i) the school is nota factory and students are not the product, and (ii) the customers for educational outcomesinclude students themselves, their parents, their future employers and society at large.In this study, we explore the effect of professional engineers teaching elementary students andtheir families who live in diverse, urban community environments. The impact of this programon key stakeholders is observed by both the corporate partner and the community partners. Keystakeholders include elementary school students, their parents, afterschool educators andprofessional engineers as teachers.We focus on research questions that assess the impact of this engagement on the skills andmindsets of working engineers, who translate their knowledge to elementary students through thecreation of open-ended engineering design challenges. Students and families engage in thesechallenges in after school programs facilitated by practicing engineers. Students and familieswitness and practice how engineers think, work, and solve problems together in this context.Another principle research question focuses on the value accrued to the corporate entity when itenables engineers to expend time in hands-on mentorship. In this case, an aerospace companytranslates real-world engineering into these design challenges.The elementary students and families are located in urban areas in four regions of America.These are urban centers where children have a varying range of limited access to quality publiceducation, technology, safe learning environments and other social, emotional frames that areoften taken for granted in the developed world.Up to 50-60 engineers, a mix of early career and seasoned technical experts working in pairs ortrios, were studied using a mixed method design that evaluated their contributions to teachingand mentorship, professional skill development, and personal growth.Engineers receive between 5-8 hours of hands-on training in pedagogical skills from teachingexperts in order to understand, learn and practice effective teaching and mentoring at grade level.Data consists of pre- and post-surveys that included demographic, social, emotional, and content-specific information about interactions with elementary school children and their families.Follow-up interviews and a delayed post-surveys were designed to encapsulate the impact of theintervention for the engineers-as-teachers and the degree to which they acquired and applied newskills to their daily work environment.Preliminary findings suggest that while underserved communities benefit from thoughtfullyprepared design challenges, there are hidden benefits that directly impact engineers asprofessionals. In an unusual reciprocal payoff, intentional, guided mentorship preparationenhances engineers’ experiences and feelings of purpose and thereby contributes to measureableimpact to sponsoring corporations in terms of perceptions of connectedness and identity to one’swork and to one’s sponsoring institution. Future guided opportunities are under development formore engineers in corporate-supported community engagements that are scalable, sustainableand with a potential to be a great societal equalizer.

Richey, M., & Gupta, D., & O'Mahony, T. K., & Meyers, L. E., & Zender, F., & Vermeer, D. L. (2015, June), The Business Case for Engineering Skills-based Volunteerism in K-12 Education Paper presented at 2015 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, Seattle, Washington. 10.18260/p.24846

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