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WIP: Effects of Arduino Microcontroller on First-Year Engineering Students

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2021 ASEE Virtual Annual Conference Content Access


Virtual Conference

Publication Date

July 26, 2021

Start Date

July 26, 2021

End Date

July 19, 2022

Conference Session

First-Year Programs Division Poster Session

Tagged Division

First-Year Programs

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Paper Authors


Aamir Fidai Texas A&M University Orcid 16x16

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Aamir received his master’s degree in Mathematics Education from University of Texas at Dallas and is currently a Ph.D. candidate at Texas A&M university. Aamir served as a mathematics teacher and varsity tennis coach in Dallas ISD for 10 years. During his tenure at Pinkston high school in West Dallas, he became an advocate for the cause of access and inclusion in STEM education for all students. He founded the first STEM club in Dallas ISD and encouraged his students who were mostly from underprivileged families to aim for college education and careers in STEM fields.

Aamir’s research interests include equity in STEM education and infusion of open source hardware and software in STEM classrooms through Internet of Things (IoT) Technology. Aamir is also interested in expanding the academic research opportunity to undergraduate students in in-service teachers in K-12. Aamir is an Aggie Research Leader and is active in mentoring undergraduate research scholars. Aamir has presented his research both at regional (SERA, TAMU LAUNCH) and at international (FIE, AERA) educational research conferences. Aamir has published his research in a high impact peer reviewed journal, conference proceedings and is currently working on several research projects dealing with technology and equity in STEM classrooms.

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Samiha Momin


Asma Salim Maredia Texas A&M University

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Asma Maredia is currently a senior at A&M Consolidated High School in College Station, Texas. She obtained her high school diploma in May 2021 and will be attending the University of Texas at Austin as an Honors Human Development and Family Science Major. This is her first time partaking in engineering-related research and she has thoroughly enjoyed the experience and ability to learn new material with Professor Fidai and her fellow co-authors.

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Insha Ashirali Umatiya

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Insha Umatiya is a graduate from A&M Consolidated High School in College Station, Texas. She plans on majoring in Biology at the University of Texas at Austin. This is her first experience in research related to engineering and enjoys learning new information. She anticipates to continue major-related research in her college career.

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In this Work in Progress paper we present the result of a meta-analytic study on the effects of Arduino-enabled design activities on first-year engineering students. Students’ experiences during their first-year engineering courses have lasting impacts on their subject matter retention and success in latter coursework. Traditional methods of teaching and learning engineering concepts through lectures, scripted interactions and rote memorization are quickly giving way to hands on learning experiences. Engineering design-based hands on learning activities have shown great promise in increasing students’ retention of subject matter knowledge and improving their understanding of engineering concepts. However, engineering design-based activities require students to have access to electrical, electronic and mechanical components. Due to the high cost of laboratory equipment and other components students often feel financially restrained and creatively constrained when developing their design project ideas. Open source Arduino microcontroller has shown to provide a low-cost solution to the problem of component availability through rapid prototyping of design projects. Arduino integration allows students and instructors to prototype solution such as automatic control systems, mechatronic sensing devices, robotics, and other lab equipment easily and at a substantially lower cost than acquiring proprietary equipment. Low-cost open source Arduino-enabled engineering design-based learning activities provide first year engineering students with limitless opportunities to engage in hands on exploration of engineering concepts.

In this report on the work in progress meta-analysis of the effects of Arduino-enable design activities on first-year engineering students we present the synthesis of first 5 quantitative studies that we deemed acceptable for inclusion in a meta-analysis. These 5 studies provided 18 data sets. The overall effect of Arduino enabled design activities on first year engineering students was d = 0.35 (CI = [0.02, 0.68]). We rejected the hypothesis of homogeneity based on the statistically significant Q value of 163.69 (df = 15, p < .001). The preliminary results from this work in progress meta-analysis indicate that Arduino-enabled engineering design activities have a positive effect on students’ academics and understanding of engineering concepts.

Fidai, A., & Momin, S., & Maredia, A. S., & Umatiya, I. A. (2021, July), WIP: Effects of Arduino Microcontroller on First-Year Engineering Students Paper presented at 2021 ASEE Virtual Annual Conference Content Access, Virtual Conference. 10.18260/1-2--38080

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