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Three ERCs and a National Network Node: Assessing Engineering Outcomes for Middle School Students Across a Joint Outreach Event

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Conference

2019 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition

Location

Tampa, Florida

Publication Date

June 15, 2019

Start Date

June 15, 2019

End Date

June 19, 2019

Conference Session

Best Practices in Out-of-School Time

Tagged Division

Pre-College Engineering Education

Page Count

14

Permanent URL

https://peer.asee.org/33439

Download Count

15

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Paper Authors

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Jean S. Larson Arizona State University

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Jean Larson, Ph.D., is the Educational Director for the NSF-funded Engineering Research Center for Bio-mediated and Bio-inspired Geotechnics (CBBG), and Assistant Research Professor in both the School of Sustainable Engineering and the Built Environment and the Division of Educational Leadership and Innovation at Arizona State University. She has a Ph.D. in Educational Technology, postgraduate training in Computer Systems Engineering, and many years of experience teaching and developing curriculum in various learning environments. She has taught technology integration and teacher training to undergraduate and graduate students at Arizona State University, students at the K-12 level locally and abroad, and various workshops and modules in business and industry. Dr. Larson is experienced in the application of instructional design, delivery, evaluation, and specializes in eLearning technologies for training and development. Her research focuses on the efficient and effective transfer of knowledge and learning techniques, innovative and interdisciplinary collaboration, and strengthening the bridge between K-12 learning and higher education in terms of engineering content.

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Megan O'Donnell

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Wendy M. Barnard Arizona State University

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Alison Cook-Davis Arizona State University

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Dr. Alison Cook-Davis is Assistant Director for Program Evaluation at the Arizona State University’s Office of Evaluation and Educational Effectiveness (UOEEE). She has a BA in Psychology, MS in Social Psychology, MLS Legal Studies, and a Ph.D. in Experimental Social Psychology. Prior to joining UOEEE, she supported the research and program evaluation efforts of Maricopa County Adult Probation Department, coordinated and executed the research and program evaluation for a large Department of Justice Second Chance Act grant. These efforts included monitoring, assessing, and evaluating the impacts of program outcomes. Since joining the UOEEE in 2015, Dr. Cook-Davis has led research and evaluation activities for over 50 separate grant-funded programs or initiatives funded by the National Science Foundation, U.S. Department of Education, U.S. Department of State, U.S. Department of Agriculture, National Institutes of Health, and The Kern Family Foundation. These projects have focused on the evaluation of student success, outreach impacts, innovative learning techniques, and STEM-related interventions and curricula.

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Adam R. Carberry Arizona State University Orcid 16x16 orcid.org/0000-0003-0041-7060

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Dr. Adam Carberry is an associate professor at Arizona State University in the Fulton Schools of Engineering Polytechnic School. He earned a B.S. in Materials Science Engineering from Alfred University, and received his M.S. and Ph.D., both from Tufts University, in Chemistry and Engineering Education respectively. His research investigates the development of new classroom innovations, assessment techniques, and identifying new ways to empirically understand how engineering students and educators learn. Prior to joining ASU he was a graduate student research assistant at the Tufts’ Center for Engineering Education and Outreach.

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Stephanie B. Adams

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Abstract

The aim of both the NSF Engineering Research Center (ERC) Program and the National Nanotechnology Coordinated Infrastructure (NNCI) is to achieve transformative change by integrating engineering research and education with technological innovation within areas at the frontiers of science and engineering. ERC and NNCI sites across the nation study and innovate within their technical area using similar structures and implementation strategies that include the coordination of educational endeavors. These efforts are intended to support students, teachers, and postdoctoral scholars in research labs; provide educational outreach to engage the community; encourage the participation of underrepresented populations; and partner with industry to achieve their vision. One of the major challenges associated with these educational programs is evaluation; in particular obtaining, developing, and testing instruments and protocols that appropriately measure program impact. Representatives from three ERCs and one NNCI Network Node, in collaboration with their external evaluation teams, have partnered to address this challenge. The assembled consortium is uniquely situated to tackle this challenge because they are co-located at the same university. The consortium has taken advantage of their proximity by meeting regularly and working together to implement and assess the impact of their individual and joint educational efforts. This paper focuses on a joint effort by the consortium and a former Research Experiences for Teachers (RET) participant to provide and evaluate interactive activities offered to students during a recent field trip to the university. Prior to the trip, the former RET participant, graduate students, and faculty identified objectives for the activities that align with Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS). A comprehensive educational experience was provided to over 100 middle school students from racially, ethnically, and linguistically diverse families with low socioeconomic backgrounds. External evaluators from the consortium used multiple methodological approaches for obtaining data to appropriately measure the outreach event impact. A questionnaire was provided to each student to assess student learning during each presentation. Feedback on student engagement was also collected after having participated in each activity. Follow-up delayed post-tests will be given to students to examine sustained knowledge and interest. The teacher will also be interviewed to provide his perspective on the extended enrichment field trip to the university. Data are currently being analyzed and will be presented in the proposed paper, along with lessons learned, and future evaluation plans.

Larson, J. S., & O'Donnell, M., & Barnard, W. M., & Cook-Davis, A., & Carberry, A. R., & Adams, S. B. (2019, June), Three ERCs and a National Network Node: Assessing Engineering Outcomes for Middle School Students Across a Joint Outreach Event Paper presented at 2019 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition , Tampa, Florida. https://peer.asee.org/33439

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