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The Influence of Modeling on Science Self-efficacy among Middle School Students

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2019 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition


Tampa, Florida

Publication Date

June 15, 2019

Start Date

June 15, 2019

End Date

June 19, 2019

Conference Session

Pre-College Engineering Education in the Formal Classroom

Tagged Division

Pre-College Engineering Education

Tagged Topic


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Paper Authors


Cara N. Morton Washington State University

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Cara has three years of structural engineering design experience and has been teaching civil engineering classes since 2014 at Washington State University. Her breadth of design ranges from waterfront structures in the Gulf of Mexico to seven story concrete buildings governed by seismic loads in Seattle, WA. She is pursuing material science related research regarding durable materials for construction. Currently, she serves as Clinical Professor at Washington State University teaching the Integrated Civil Engineering Design class and with regards to engineering education, specializes in easing the school to work transition.

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Kira J. Carbonneau Washington State University

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Dr. Kira J. Carbonneau, is an Assistant Professor in Educational Psychology, with five years of K-8 teaching experience. Dr. Carbonneau’s area of expertise is in the efficacy of instructional practices in mathematics and science as well as research methodology. She has experience consulting on statistical analyses, research design, measurement analysis, and assessment development in various areas including teacher education, math education, socio-emotional learning and motivational constructs. Her work has been published in Journal of Educational Psychology, Contemporary Educational Psychology and Journal of Experimental Education, among other venues.

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Engineering lacks a presence in the k-12 classroom except through project or design based curriculum, which is primarily used to teach science concepts. Educators often recommend including instructional strategies that create opportunities to increase a students’ self-efficacy to improve student achievement in science. Previous research supports science self-efficacy as being positively associated with achieving science literacy (Bryan, Glynn, & Kittleson, 2011) and science achievement (Britner & Pajares, 2001). This study examines if exposing students to young model “engineering experts” would impact middle schoolers’ science self-efficacy. If so, the motivation for k-12 teachers to invite engineers into their classroom is two fold. It increases students’ awareness of engineering careers as well as increases student’s achievement in science. But would such a short intervention have an impact? Students were surveyed at the beginning and end of a one day event at Washington State University, which included “engineering experts” who interacted with the students in small groups (60 min total). Results from the Repeated-Measures Analysis of Variance (RM-ANOVA) demonstrated that participants reported higher perceived ability to engage in scientific learning processes (d = .17) and in science learning behaviors (d = 0.15). Both theoretical and practical implications are discussed.

Morton, C. N., & Carbonneau, K. J. (2019, June), The Influence of Modeling on Science Self-efficacy among Middle School Students Paper presented at 2019 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition , Tampa, Florida. 10.18260/1-2--33404

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