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WIP: Investigating Student Growth Through a Multidisciplinary Qualifying Project of an Interactive Ball Wall Display to Support Pre-K STEAM Learning at a Community Early Education and Care Center

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2020 ASEE Virtual Annual Conference Content Access


Virtual On line

Publication Date

June 22, 2020

Start Date

June 22, 2020

End Date

June 26, 2021

Conference Session

Multidisciplinary Service and Outreach Projects

Tagged Division

Multidisciplinary Engineering

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Paper Authors


Jessica Anne Rosewitz P.E. Worcester Polytechnic Institute Orcid 16x16

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Jessica has been interested in engineering education since her undergraduate days. She participated in the NSF PIEE Project, designing and implementing engineering lesson plans in a local Worcester 2nd grade classroom. Now, each year she hosts a high school junior for a week, demonstrating what it's like in a research laboratory. During the summer she mentors 1-2 young undergraduates in the NSF REU program for 10 weeks, advocating and training for a graduate education. And for 4 years running now, she has made and demonstrated an Augmented Reality Sandbox for the annual summer science and engineering festival at WPI, TouchTomorrow.

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Katherine C. Chen Worcester Polytechnic Institute

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Dr. Katherine C. Chen is the Executive Director of the STEM Education Center at Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI). Her degrees in Materials Science and Engineering are from Michigan State University and MIT. Her research interests include pre-college engineering education, teacher education, and equity in education.

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Perspectives are provided on an interdisciplinary group of four upper class students at a university who are completing a required multidisciplinary qualifying project, which combines elements of technology and society, to design and create a STEAM focused ball wall appropriate for pre-K children. The faculty used a combination of assignments to evaluate evolution and growth of students. Equity training module components from a handbook and custom designed essay reflection assessments were given to the students on a quarterly basis to track changes or transformations in student behavior as they discover and overcome resource limitations and unique design constraints. More specifically, to track changes instigated from the project: the evolution of personal and professional growth tracked by asset maps; changes to interpersonal team dynamics from strangers to colleagues; learning and refining technical engineering skills; overcoming various challenges; learning to set realistic expectations and goals; and self-reflection, assessment, and improvement. This project is a first-time collaboration between the university and the center, focused on a building a lasting relationship with a community pillar. The students are researching pre-K curriculum and pedagogy, delivering a finished product, and open-source curriculum and design plans for the ball wall, which will be installed in a STEAM room at a non-profit early education and childcare center where teachers bring children in for daily activities.

Rosewitz, J. A., & Chen, K. C. (2020, June), WIP: Investigating Student Growth Through a Multidisciplinary Qualifying Project of an Interactive Ball Wall Display to Support Pre-K STEAM Learning at a Community Early Education and Care Center Paper presented at 2020 ASEE Virtual Annual Conference Content Access, Virtual On line . 10.18260/1-2--35552

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