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The Effects of Single vs. Mixed Gender Engineering Enrichment Programs on Elementary Students’ Perceptions of Engineers

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Conference

2014 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition

Location

Indianapolis, Indiana

Publication Date

June 15, 2014

Start Date

June 15, 2014

End Date

June 18, 2014

ISSN

2153-5965

Conference Session

Gender Perceptions and Girls in K-12 Engineering and Computer Science

Tagged Division

K-12 & Pre-College Engineering

Page Count

14

Page Numbers

24.1209.1 - 24.1209.14

Permanent URL

https://peer.asee.org/23142

Download Count

47

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Paper Authors

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Suzanne L. Berliner -Heyman New Jersey Institute of Technology

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Suzanne Berliner-Heyman is the educational technology specialist of the Center for Pre-college Programs at NJIT. Ms. Berliner-Heyman has served as program director for the early college preparatory programs for over 14 years. Suzanne earned her master’s degree from New York University in educational technology and a bachelor’s degree in elementary education from the University of Rhode Island. She holds an elementary education teaching certificate and a Teaching of the Handicapped certificate in the state of New Jersey.

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Rosa M. Cano NJIT

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Rosa M. Cano is the associate director responsible for student programs at the Center for Pre-College Programs at the New Jersey Institute of Technology. She has a degree in chemistry from Marymount Manhattan College, N.Y., and her initial position at NJIT was as a chemist in the chemical engineering and chemistry department.

In 1976, the chemical engineering and chemistry department started to offer pre-college programs to students from the Newark Public Schools and as the interest and the student audience grew in other school districts, the Center for Pre-College Programs at NJIT was established in 1979.

One of the main avenues to attract underserved students and girls into the STEM areas is their participation in the Early College Preparatory programs and the Women in Engineering and Technology - FEMME programs. In collaboration with other staff members at the Center, Ms. Cano is responsible for all students attending the pre-college programs at the Center, both single-gender and co-educational programs.

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John D. Carpinelli New Jersey Institute of Technology

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Dr. John D. Carpinelli is a professor of electrical and computer engineering and executive director of the Center for Pre-College Programs at the New Jersey Institute of Technology. He has served as coordinator of activities at NJIT for the Gateway Engineering Education Coalition and as a member of the coalition’s governing board. He previously chaired NJIT’s Excellence in Teaching awards committee and is past chair of the University Master Teacher Committee.

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Howard S. Kimmel New Jersey Institute of Technology

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Howard Kimmel is a professor emeritus of chemical engineering and retired executive director of the Center for Pre-College Programs at the New Jersey Institute of Technology. Dr. Kimmel currently is providing his services on a part-time basis as a special assistant for teacher training and curriculum development, with a focus on alignment of teaching practices with the Common Core State Standards and the Next Generation Science Standards. He has spent almost 40 years designing and implementing professional development programs, curricula, and assessment of student learning for K-12 teachers in STEM. At the college level, he collaborates on projects exploring teaching methodologies and assessment strategies in undergraduate courses in the sciences, engineering, and computer science. Dr. Kimmel has received numerous awards in recognition of his service, including: the ASEE 1985 Vincent Bendix Minorities in Engineering Award and ASEE Centennial Medallion for “Significant Lasting Impact on Engineering Education” in 1993; the NJIT Foundation Overseers Public and Institute Service Award, in 1981 (First Recipient) and 2005; Allan R. Cullimore Distinguished Service Award (NJIT) for 1991; and the Presidential Award for outstanding contributions to Science Education by the New Jersey Science Supervisors' Association.
The Center for Pre-college Programs was selected by the American Association of State Colleges and Universities for its exemplary pre-college program for recruitment and retention of minority students and its cooperative efforts with the public schools.

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Linda S. Hirsch New Jersey Institute of Technology

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Dr. Linda S. Hirsch has a degree in educational psychology from the Graduate School of Education at Rutgers University with a specialization in educational statistics and measurement. She is a senior member of the professional staff at the Center for Pre-College Programs and is knowledgeable in the areas of student learning and educational psychology. Dr. Hirsch has nearly 20 years of experience conducting longitudinal research studies and is proficient in experimental design, database management, and statistical analysis, including instrument development, psychometrics, and statistical programming. She has helped in the coordination and development of STEM educational programs, many of which included a focus on the engineering design process and student design challenges.

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Abstract

The Effects of Single vs. Mixed Gender Engineering Enrichment Programs on Elementary Students’ Perceptions of Engineers The Center _______ at ________ provides a series of summer enrichment programs designedto increase academically talented students' interest in the fields of science, technology,engineering and mathematics (STEM). Programs of this type can be instrumental in informingyoung students about careers in engineering and technology and helping ensure they receive theacademic background required to enter and succeed in college. One of the summer programs hasbeen designed specifically for young girls in an effort to increase the number of womeninterested in engineering and other technological careers. Although there is much debate aboutthe relative effectiveness of female-only programs, previous research comparing aspects of ourfemale-only program to equivalent mixed-gender programs has shown our programs to beparticularly effective in reaching young girls, influencing their perceptions of engineers andattitudes toward engineering as a career. The addition of equivalent male-only programsprompted additional research comparing 1) changes in students’ attitudes toward engineering, 2)increases in student learning and content knowledge, 3) classroom climate and students'interactions in the classroom and 4) students’ perceptions of engineers using the Draw anEngineer Test. The curriculum for each of the programs was exactly the same within grade-leveland the single-gender programs were taught by the same teacher. In terms of program effectiveness, results showed significant and substantial increases instudents’ content knowledge in all programs from the beginning to the end of the programs. Andalthough marked differences were found among the three different gender grouped programs interms of classroom climate and student interactions in the classroom, there were no significantdifferences between the males and females nor where there any differences between the single-gender and mixed gender programs in terms of student content knowledge or attitudes towardengineering. However, significant differences were found in students’ self-efficacy andperceptions of engineers from pre- to post. The current paper is an in-depth analysis of students’ perceptions of engineers using the Drawan Engineering Test. The relationship(s) among students’ perceptions of engineering, theattributes they assigned to the engineers in their drawing and their responses to specific items onthe attitudes toward engineering survey were also examined. Significant differences were foundin students’ perceptions of engineers and engineering among the three gender-grouped programs,particularly in terms of the gender of engineers. Girls in the female-only programs were morelikely to change the gender of their engineer from male to female in their pre- and post-drawings. Significant correlations were found between specific attributes of students’ drawings(particularly those that can be considered misconceptions) and their responses to items on theattitudes toward engineering survey. Correlations between the gender equity items on theattitudes toward engineering survey and gender attributions of the engineers in students’ drawingwere different for each of the three gender-grouped programs.

Berliner -Heyman, S. L., & Cano, R. M., & Carpinelli, J. D., & Kimmel, H. S., & Hirsch, L. S. (2014, June), The Effects of Single vs. Mixed Gender Engineering Enrichment Programs on Elementary Students’ Perceptions of Engineers Paper presented at 2014 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, Indianapolis, Indiana. https://peer.asee.org/23142

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