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Using Retrospective Surveys to Assess the Impact of Participating in an Afterschool Maker Learning Program on Youth

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Conference

2020 ASEE Virtual Annual Conference Content Access

Location

Virtual On line

Publication Date

June 22, 2020

Start Date

June 22, 2020

End Date

June 26, 2021

Conference Session

Pre-college Engineering Education Division Technical Session 19

Tagged Division

Pre-College Engineering Education

Page Count

12

DOI

10.18260/1-2--35470

Permanent URL

https://peer.asee.org/35470

Download Count

204

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Paper Authors

biography

Foad Hamidi University of Maryland, Baltimore County

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Dr. Foad Hamidi is an Assistant Professor at the University of Maryland, Baltimore County (UMBC). His research interests include Human-Computer Interaction, Participatory
Design and Assistive Technology.

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Adena Moulton Digital Harbor Foundation

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Adena Moulton manages Digital Harbor Foundation’s research initiatives, program evaluation processes, grant development, and fundraising initiatives. Adena formerly worked as a Researcher for the WomanStats Project studying violence against women, the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars studying the 2011 Arab Uprisings, and Brigham Young University’s Political Science Department studying marriage and family practices of the Middle East. She graduated with a Bachelor’s Degree in Middle Eastern Studies and Arabic from Brigham Young University where she received the Middle East Studies/Arabic Student Research Award in April 2017.

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Shawn Grimes

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Shawn Grimes has nearly 20 years of experience as a technologist in a variety of fields including mobile app development, cyber security, and software engineering. Through his passion for working with and serving youth, he served as the Director of Technology at the Digital Harbor Foundation where their work focused on teaching technology and maker skills to youth.

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Stephanie Grimes

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Steph Grimes served as the Director of Programs & Education at Digital Harbor Foundation in Baltimore, MD from 2012-2019, where she lead a team in managing and creating out-of-school programs for youth, and professional development workshops for educators, focused on maker and technology education.

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Andrew Coy Digital Harbor Foundation

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Andrew is the founder and current Executive Director of the Digital Harbor Foundation. He also served as a senior advisor in the Office of Science and Technology Policy during the Obama administration and currently advises national technology education nonprofits including the Computer Science for All and Nation of Makers. Andrew was also the lead author on the Maryland Access Task Force report to Maryland’s Governor Larry Hogan. His work has been recognized by Baltimore Business Journal, The Daily Record, Forbes Magazine, Baltimore Sun, Education Week, and K12 Magazine.

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Abstract

Afterschool maker programs provide opportunities for engaging youth in hands-on projects that require creative problem solving, teamwork and the acquiring and application of technical skills. These programs can introduce participants to engineering concepts and skills before college. As interest in them grows and more organizations offer programs to hundreds of youth, it is increasingly important to identify valid and scalable methods for evaluating their quality by conducting assessments that capture the impact of participation on youth.

In this evaluation paper, we report the results of investigating the impact of an afterschool maker program on 94 youth. Twice over a year, we collected data using a series of survey tools including two Upper Elementary School and Middle/High School Student Attitudes toward STEM (S-STEM) Surveys (Technology and Engineering and 21st Century Skills) and the Alternative Uses Test (AUT). Additionally, we conducted interviews with representative youth about their perceptions and attitudes towards the surveys.

While the AUT results showed a positive change in the youth, initial results from pre- and post-program STEM-S evaluations showed insignificant and in some cases negative shifts in youth's attitudes. The interviews showed that youth had difficulty accurately assessing changes in themselves due to the time lapse between pre- and post-program surveys. Additionally, they did not see the value of completing the surveys. We subsequently changed the format of the surveys to a retrospective mode to help the youth better reflect on their attitudes and skills. The results of the retrospective surveys showed significant positive shits in the youth's attitudes towards STEM. We present detailed results and recommendations on how to apply them in other similar programs.

Hamidi, F., & Moulton, A., & Grimes, S., & Grimes, S., & Coy, A. (2020, June), Using Retrospective Surveys to Assess the Impact of Participating in an Afterschool Maker Learning Program on Youth Paper presented at 2020 ASEE Virtual Annual Conference Content Access, Virtual On line . 10.18260/1-2--35470

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