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Using Fluid Power Workshops to Increase STEM Interest in K-12 Students

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2014 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition


Indianapolis, Indiana

Publication Date

June 15, 2014

Start Date

June 15, 2014

End Date

June 18, 2014



Conference Session

K-12 and Pre-college Engineering Curriculum and Programming Resources, Part 1 of 2

Tagged Division

K-12 & Pre-College Engineering

Page Count


Page Numbers

24.1330.1 - 24.1330.12



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Paper Authors


Jose M. Garcia Purdue University (Statewide Technology) Orcid 16x16

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Assistant Professor Engineering Technology

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Yury Alexandrovich Kuleshov Purdue University, West Lafayette


John H. Lumkes

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Dr. John Lumkes is an associate professor in agricultural and biological engineering at Purdue University.
He earned a BS in engineering from Calvin College, an MS in engineering from the University of
Michigan, and a PhD in mechanical engineering from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. His research
focus is in the area of machine systems and fluid power. He is the advisor of a Global Design Team
operating in Bangang, Cameroon, concentrating on affordable, sustainable utility transportation for rural
villages in Africa.

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This study addresses the issue of using robotics in K-12 STEM education. Theauthors tested intrinsic motivation theory in the study of participant perceptions during aseries of robotic workshops for K-12 students at a midwestern university. Previous workon the subject was thoroughly investigated, common patterns were highlighted in theliterature review. A robotic excavator arm using fluid power components was developedand suggested as a main agent to generate participant reaction. The research question wasformed aiming to get the general understanding of the perceptions of all participantsimmediately after the workshop. 18 workshops were held with a total number of 451participants. Participants were provided with a questionnaire that included bothquantitative and qualitative questions. 14 of the questions are quantitative, where aparticipant would characterize her or his after-workshop experience using a 1 to 7-perception scale. Qualitative questions are described as student narratives and will beanalyzed at another stage of the study and combined with the quantitative resultsdescribed in this work. According to the intrinsic motivation theory it was hypothesizedthat participant perceptions should differ depending on their gender, race, and age.Inferential statistical analysis, ANOVA was used to answer this research question andtest that hypothesis. In order to be able to conduct relevant ANOVA testing the numberof participants chosen for the test was reduced to a sample of 159 so that all groups wherestandardized. The general ANOVA test, applied to this sample number proved thestatement that robotic-oriented activities in K-12 STEM classrooms have positiveinfluence on student interest in STEM disciplines, activities, and can be used to motivatethem to pursue careers in STEM related fields.

Garcia, J. M., & Kuleshov, Y. A., & Lumkes, J. H. (2014, June), Using Fluid Power Workshops to Increase STEM Interest in K-12 Students Paper presented at 2014 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, Indianapolis, Indiana. 10.18260/1-2--23263

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