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The Effects Of Stomp On Students' Understandings Of And Attitudes Toward The Engineering Design Process

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2007 Annual Conference & Exposition


Honolulu, Hawaii

Publication Date

June 24, 2007

Start Date

June 24, 2007

End Date

June 27, 2007



Conference Session

Student Teams and Project-Based Learning

Tagged Division

Educational Research and Methods

Page Count


Page Numbers

12.1418.1 - 12.1418.16

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Paper Authors


Adam Carberry Tufts University

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Adam Carberry is currently a Ph.D. candidate in Engineering Education at Tufts University. He received his B.S. in Material Science Engineering from Alfred University as well as his M.S. in Chemistry from Tufts. He is also a research assistant at the Tufts University Center for Engineering Educational Outreach. Adam has served on the STOMP executive board for 2 years.

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Merredith Portsmore Tufts University

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Merredith Portsmore is currently a Ph.D. candidate in Engineering Education at Tufts University. She received her B.A. in English, B.S.M.E. and M.A. in Education from Tufts. She is also a research assistant at the Tufts University Center for Engineering Educational Outreach. Merredith is the founder of the STOMP program and has supervised it since it's inception.

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Chris Rogers Tufts University

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Chris Rogers is a professor of Mechanical Engineering at Tufts University. He received all of his degrees from Stanford University. Chris is a co-founder of the Tufts University Center for Engineering Educational Outreach and spends much of his time playing with LEGO products.

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NOTE: The first page of text has been automatically extracted and included below in lieu of an abstract

The Effects of STOMP on Students’ Attitudes and Understandings toward the Engineering Design Process


At Tufts University there exists an engineering educational outreach program called the Student Teacher Outreach Mentorship Program. This program is designed to take engineering students and place them in K-12 outreach to act as mentors for teachers and students. Previous research conducted on the program showed that participation in the program helped students develop much needed citizenship and communication skills. Administrators of the program have long hypothesized that the program also assists in the development of deeper understandings of engineering related concepts. The following research is a preliminary study supporting just such a claim. Through a series of attitudinal surveys, knowledge assessments, and observations focused on the individuals’ experience and the engineering design process, the effects of a teaching experience.


Engineering is an active discipline and therefore should be taught actively. At the undergraduate level, this active aspect is typically lost among the countless hours spent within the classroom, learning through lecture, reading, and abstract thinking. Over the past two decades, engineering education has begun to move away from employing passive teaching methodologies toward more active approaches. This movement is guided by published principles [1], theories [2-4], and guidelines [5, 6] that assert that good practice in undergraduate education requires a strong emphasis on experiences.

One such method to elicit experience is through the use of educational outreach opportunities. Over the past decade or so, educational outreach opportunities in engineering have been rapidly on the rise. Current programs include development of classroom materials [7-9], outreach activities on and off campus [10], holding sponsored engineering contests [11], and performing professional development workshops for K-12 teachers.[12] These programs, although designed with specific individual purposes, are all built on four main principles: to provide undergraduate engineering students with a situated service learning experience [13], to increase students’ awareness and interest in technology [14], to provide all individuals with the skills to function in and around technology [15], and for students to gain a sense of citizenship as engineers.

The following paper will investigate the origins behind why such a strong emphasis should be placed on experiential learning and then show preliminary results to the effects on attitudes and understandings of the engineering design process by one such outreach program, the Student Teacher Outreach Mentorship Program (STOMP). The engineering design process is defined using the Massachusetts State Standards (Figure 1). The engineering design process is used in this study based on its uniqueness to engineering.

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