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The Impact Of Engineering Is Elementary (Eie) On Students' Attitudes Toward Engineering And Science

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Conference

2010 Annual Conference & Exposition

Location

Louisville, Kentucky

Publication Date

June 20, 2010

Start Date

June 20, 2010

End Date

June 23, 2010

ISSN

2153-5965

Conference Session

Thinking, Reasoning & Engineering in Elementary School

Tagged Division

K-12 & Pre-College Engineering

Page Count

13

Page Numbers

15.1237.1 - 15.1237.13

DOI

10.18260/1-2--15989

Permanent URL

https://peer.asee.org/15989

Download Count

151

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Paper Authors

author page

Christine Cunningham Museum of Science, Boston Orcid 16x16 orcid.org/0000-0003-1922-7101

author page

Cathy Lachapelle Museum of Science, Boston

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

The Impact of Engineering is Elementary (EiE) on Students’ Attitudes Toward Engineering and Science

Abstract

This paper probes whether students’ attitudes toward engineering and science are impacted as a result of using Engineering is Elementary (EiE) curricular materials. It presents results from data an instrument that focused on measuring students’ attitudes about and perceptions toward engineering. The Engineering Attitudes Survey was originally developed as an assessment of middle school students’ knowledge of engineering and their attitudes toward it. The survey was adapted for EiE use. To measure the impact of EiE on students, the attitude survey was administered to a “test/EiE” group of students who used the EiE curriculum (students were taught an EiE unit and related science) and a “control” group whose students were taught related science, but did not use EiE materials. Data about student sex, race/ethnicity, and free and reduced lunch status were also collected. The attitudes instrument was administered to students in six states in a pre/post design. Results indicate that students who completed the EiE curriculum were significantly more likely to report interest in being an engineer on the post- survey than control students. They were also significantly more likely than control students to report interest in and comfort with engineering jobs and skills, and to agree that scientists and engineers help to make people’s lives better.

Introduction

Engineering is Elementary (EiE) is a research-based curriculum project focused on creating curriculum units covering topics in engineering and technology as a supplement to core science instruction. The curriculum aims to increase student knowledge and skills related to engineering and technology. Each EiE curriculum unit is designed to build on and reinforce one science topic through the exploration and development of a related technology. Each EiE unit has common elements, including a four-lesson structure. The first lesson introduces a field of engineering and a design challenge through a fictional story. The second lesson explores the field of engineering more broadly through hands-on activities. The third lesson includes a controlled experiment for more in-depth exploration of different materials, processes, or design elements that will inform the final design. For the fourth lesson, students plan, create, test, evaluate and improve their designs. As a result of engaging in engineering challenges and better understanding engineering concepts and being exposed to the kind of work of engineers do, some students might also report increases in their attitudes and self efficacy related to engineering and engineering careers. This paper investigates whether the EiE curriculum impacts these perceptions.

Methods

To measure elementary students’ attitudes and perceptions toward engineering, an instrument was developed and administered to a “test/EiE” group of students who used the EiE curriculum (students were taught an EiE unit and related science) and a “control” group whose students were taught related science, but did not use EiE materials. Data about student sex, race/ethnicity,

Cunningham, C., & Lachapelle, C. (2010, June), The Impact Of Engineering Is Elementary (Eie) On Students' Attitudes Toward Engineering And Science Paper presented at 2010 Annual Conference & Exposition, Louisville, Kentucky. 10.18260/1-2--15989

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