Virtual On line
June 22, 2020
June 22, 2020
June 26, 2021
Pre-College Engineering Education
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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