June 24, 2017
June 24, 2017
June 28, 2017
Entrepreneurship & Engineering Innovation
The K-12 InVenture Challenge inspires K-12 educators and students to innovate solutions to real-world problems of the students’ choosing. Modeled after _____’s InVenture Prize, a ‘Shark-Tank’ style competition for _______ undergraduates that is televised throughout _______, the InVenture Challenge attempts to deliver the same authentic experience to K-12 schools by providing a framework, curriculum, and competition that can be used by K-12 teachers in a variety of disciplines to foster innovation and entrepreneurial thinking in student inventors. The InVenture Challenge is different from many other invention competitions in that teamwork is strongly encouraged, and the teacher is a vital part of facilitating the process. When students participate in the InVenture Challenge, they do not work alone at home; rather, they are collaborating with up to two student peers and their teacher is guiding them through an engineering design process. As a result, the InVenture Challenge is inclusive and diverse—about half of K-12 participants are female and nearly 40% are underrepresented minorities.
The contributions of this paper are two-fold. First, a model is provided for a K-12 innovation program aimed at empowering underrepresented groups in engineering by looking further down the pipeline. Such a program could readily be replicated at other universities and is useful in broadening perceptions around engineering, recruiting and retaining talent into STEM fields, and developing skills, including entrepreneurial thinking and collaboration. The second contribution of this paper is an analysis of qualitative and quantitative data collected from InVenture Challenge teachers during the fourth year of implementation (2015 – 2016 academic year). Included in the research are surveys about self-efficacy in teaching both engineering and entrepreneurship, a work engagement scale, and a motivation scale. Teachers also provide details about their unique implementation settings and respond to items about various ways in which participating in InVenture Challenge potentially impacted their students. Also included is a thematic analysis of interview and focus group data on perceptions of the impact of InVenture Challenge participation on students, specifics of implementation in different environments, and reflections on gender effects. Survey results indicate that InVenture Challenge teachers feel confident in their ability to teach engineering and entrepreneurship, are highly engaged in their work, and report being driven by a variety of positive factors to participate in the program. In general, teachers perceive the InVenture Challenge as an engaging way of broadening participation in engineering, expanding the students’ experiences outside of the classroom, fostering teamwork and collaboration, and building a partnership with _______.
Moore, R., & Alemdar, M., & Newton, S. H., & Holcomb, A. N. (2017, June), The K-12 InVenture Challenge: Inspiring Future STEM Innovators Paper presented at 2017 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, Columbus, Ohio. 10.18260/1-2--28985
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