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Understanding Better Young People’s Views on Technology in Finland

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2020 ASEE Virtual Annual Conference Content Access


Virtual On line

Publication Date

June 22, 2020

Start Date

June 22, 2020

End Date

June 26, 2021

Conference Session

Developing Technological Literacy in Students

Tagged Division

Technological and Engineering Literacy/Philosophy of Engineering

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Paper Authors


Johanna Kristiina Naukkarinen Lappeenranta-Lahti University of Technology LUT Orcid 16x16

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Johanna Naukkarinen received her M.Sc. degree in chemical engineering from Helsinki University of Technology in 2001, her D.Sc. (Tech) degree in knowledge management from Tampere University of Technology in 2015, and her professional teacher qualification from Tampere University of Applied sciences in 2013. She is currently working as a post-doctoral researcher and project manager with the School of Energy Systems at Lappeenranta-Lahti University of Technology LUT with main research interests related to technology and society, gender diversity and engineering education.

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Hanna Niemelä Lappeenranta-Lahti University of Technology LUT

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Hanna Niemelä received the M.A. and PhD degrees in translation studies from University of Helsinki in 1993 and 2003, respectively. She is currently working as an associate professor with the Department of Electrical Engineering at Lappeenranta-Lahti University of Technology, Lappeenranta, Finland. Her professional experience ranges from translating to teaching and language consulting. Her interests include electrical engineering, scientific writing and special languages.

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Several studies have reported that there are groups among young people that view technology differently from each other and also have different motives for studying engineering. In order to better understand what kinds of young people are attracted to engineering in Finland, we conducted a survey on different aspects of young people’s relationship to technology. The survey was administered to three different groups of relatively similar ages and other demographics. The first group of respondents consisted of students that had just started their studies towards a B.Sc. in Mechanical, Electrical, Environmental, or Energy engineering (N=133). The second group comprised secondary high school students that attended a university course in Basic Electronics in three consecutive years (N=100). These students were motivated to study this technology-related topic but did not necessarily intend to pursue a career in engineering. The respondents in the last group (N=210) were secondary high school students who participated in different class visits to the university (not necessarily out of their own free will) and thus did not share a particular interest in technology or engineering. A factor analysis of the survey data yielded three somewhat distinct profiles in relation to technology, and a statistical analysis revealed differences between both the groups and the genders. The results give insights into what kinds of technology-related views and experiences may draw people to engineering and what, on the other hand, may push them out. The data and results of the survey are of use when promoting the role of engineering and shaping young people’s views on technology. In this work, the course in Basic Electronics and other similar educational actions that give a glimpse into engineering studies can be used as promotional material and to provide positive experiences through technology-related activities. For this purpose, the survey provides useful data when developing the course and targeting potential students in the future. The survey also has wider implications for raising awareness and increasing understanding of the forces and factors driving young people in today’s world.

Naukkarinen, J. K., & Niemelä, H. (2020, June), Understanding Better Young People’s Views on Technology in Finland Paper presented at 2020 ASEE Virtual Annual Conference Content Access, Virtual On line . 10.18260/1-2--35418

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