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The Evaluation Of A Comprehensive Middle School Outreach Program The Strategy, The Results, And The Challenges

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Conference

2007 Annual Conference & Exposition

Location

Honolulu, Hawaii

Publication Date

June 24, 2007

Start Date

June 24, 2007

End Date

June 27, 2007

ISSN

2153-5965

Conference Session

Engineering in Middle Schools

Tagged Division

K-12 & Pre-College Engineering

Page Count

13

Page Numbers

12.1425.1 - 12.1425.13

Permanent URL

https://peer.asee.org/2742

Download Count

24

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Paper Authors

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John McLaughlin MacLaughlin Associates

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John McLaughlin is a senior consultant in strategic planning, performance measurement, and program evaluation. He is presently working on several project including the Environmental Protection Agency, Health and Human Services Administration on Aging and Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, as well serving as the lead evaluation consultant to seven national centers.

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Gail Hardinge College of William and Mary

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Gail Hardinge is an educational psychologist who currently works with the Va. Department of Education's Training and Technical Assistance Centers, at the College of William and Mary, providing professional development programs for teachers. She has worked in public education for twenty-two years and is an adjunct Assistant Professor at William and Mary, teaching courses in collaborative consultation and assessment, as well serving as the college's VDP Project Coordinator.

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Eugene Brown Virginia Tech

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Eugene Brown is Professor of Mechanical Engineering at Virginia Tech. He has worked with ONR since 2001 on university-centered Navy work force development issues. He teaches undergraduate and graduate courses in thermodynamics and fluid mechanics and is the author of many papers and reports describing his research in the areas of computational fluid dynamics and aircraft propulsion.

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Kirk Jenne Office of Naval Research

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Kirk Jenne is the director of the N-STAR (Naval Research--Science and Technology for America's Readiness) program at the Office of Naval Research. His on a rotational assignment from the Naval Undersea Warfare Center in Newport, Rhode Island. His research interests are in ocean engineering, materials, and underwater acoustics and sensors.

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Robert Stiegler Naval Surface Warfare Center, Dahlgren Division

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Robert Stiegler is currently supporting the USMC Targeting and Engagement Systems and the Office of Naval Research, N-STAR initiative. His recent career experience has included service as a program manager for USMC science and technology programs, Science Advisor to the Commanding General, Fleet Marine Forces Atlantic, and Head, NAVSEA Combat Systems Safety and Engineering Division.

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

Evaluating a Collaborative Middle School Outreach Program-- The Strategy, the Results, and the Challenges

Abstract

A Navy funded outreach program directed at increasing the interest of middle school students in pursuing careers in science and engineering has been subjected to a comprehensive mixed mode evaluation process conducted by a professional educational program evaluator. The evaluation process and its implementation in terms of the comparison-group studies and mixed method (quantitative and qualitative) data collection methods are described as well as the logic models which underlie this process. Some results are described and the paper closes with a statement of the challenges faced by the evaluator.

The Program

In the fall of 2003, representatives from the Office of Naval Research (ONR) and the School of Education of the College of William and Mary met with the staff of Senator John Warner (R- VA) to seek funding for an innovative program devoted to increasing the interest of middle school students in pursing careers in science and engineering. This was in response to an acknowledgement by ONR that attention needed to be given to the future technical workforce needs of the Navy’s Warfare Centers given the decrease in the numbers of US citizens obtaining advanced degrees in science and engineering1.

From these discussions, the ONR-funded Virginia Demonstration Project (VDP) emerged which, in the three years of its existence, has grown to reach more than 1500 7th and 8th graders in its academic year and summer camp programs, to involve more than 80 science and math teachers in its professional development activities, and to employ the services of nearly 50 young Navy scientists and engineers who work side-by-side the teachers in the classroom as facilitators, mentors, and role models.

Figure 1. VDP Summer Camp, Dahlgren, Virginia, 2005

There were two types of problems used in the VDP: 1) Robotics Challenges requiring the solution of problems having both a societal and Navy focus using LEGO Mindstorms equipment and 2) specially-constructed Breakout Experiments which were used to illustrate specific mathematics and science topics.

McLaughlin, J., & Hardinge, G., & Brown, E., & Jenne, K., & Stiegler, R. (2007, June), The Evaluation Of A Comprehensive Middle School Outreach Program The Strategy, The Results, And The Challenges Paper presented at 2007 Annual Conference & Exposition, Honolulu, Hawaii. https://peer.asee.org/2742

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