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Understanding High School Student Experiences in an Engineering Course Designed For All (Fundamental, Diversity)

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2022 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition


Minneapolis, MN

Publication Date

August 23, 2022

Start Date

June 26, 2022

End Date

June 29, 2022

Conference Session

PCEE Technical Session 6: Engineering Design in High School

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Paper Authors


Rachel Figard North Carolina State University at Raleigh

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Rachel Figard is a Ph.D. student in Engineering Education and an M.S. student in User Experience at Arizona State University. She holds a B.S. in Industrial Engineering from North Carolina State University.

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Medha Dalal Arizona State University

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Dr. Medha Dalal is an associate director of scholarly initiatives and an assistant research scientist in the Fulton Schools of Engineering at Arizona State University. She holds a PhD from Arizona State University in Learning, Literacies and Technologies with a focus on engineering education. Her research interests span four related areas: democratization of engineering education, ways of thinking, engineering curiosity among pre-college students, and faculty development.

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Jacob Roarty

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Samantha Nieto Arizona State University, Polytechnic Campus


Adam Carberry Arizona State University

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Dr. Adam Carberry is an associate professor at Arizona State University in the Fulton Schools of Engineering, The 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. He currently serves as the Graduate Program Chair for the Engineering Education Systems and Design Ph.D. program. He is also the immediate past chair of the Research in Engineering Education Network (REEN) and a senior associate editor for the Journal of Engineering Education (JEE). Prior to joining ASU he was a graduate student research assistant at the Tufts’ Center for Engineering Education and Outreach.

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Pre-college engineering education still struggles to implement curricula that engage a diverse range of students. Engineering for US All (e4usa) aims to fill this gap through a course that demystifies engineering while catering to a broad range of students. This paper examines the influence of the e4usa course on students’ engagement with engineering design, and their understanding of engineering as a potential future educational and career pathway. Focus group sessions were conducted with students from 12 participating schools during the 2020-21 school year to examine how their interests and understanding of engineering were influenced by the course. There were four main question categories for the focus groups, including: (1) students’ perceptions of engineering, (2) engagement in the e4usa course, (3) influences of the e4usa course, and (4) experiences as a female in engineering. Focus group data were analyzed using open coding and constant comparison methods. Themes emerged from each of the main question categories, giving insight into students’ experiences in the e4usa course. Understanding student experiences in the e4usa course has the potential to impact the future design of pre-college engineering experiences that can lead to a more diverse engineering workforce.

Figard, R., & Dalal, M., & Roarty, J., & Nieto, S., & Carberry, A. (2022, August), Understanding High School Student Experiences in an Engineering Course Designed For All (Fundamental, Diversity) Paper presented at 2022 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, Minneapolis, MN. 10.18260/1-2--40476

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