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WIP Knowing Engineering Through the Arts: The Impact of the Film Hidden Figures on Perceptions of Engineering Using Arts-Based Research Methods

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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

TELPhE Division Technical Session 2: The Broadening Face of Engineering Education

Tagged Division

Technological and Engineering Literacy/Philosophy of Engineering

Tagged Topic


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Paper Authors


Katherine Robert University of Denver

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Katherine is a doctoral candidate at the University of Denver’s Morgridge School of Education in the higher education department. In her dissertation research, she uses arts-based research methods, new materialist theory, and is guided by culturally responsive methodological principles to collaborate with underrepresented engineering students to uncover their experiences of socialization into the professional engineering culture. Katherine is an interdisciplinary scholar and artist with an expansive career and academic history that she intends to utilize to help STEM organizations become more inclusive and equitable.

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Despite decades of efforts, racial and gender diversity remains elusive for engineering education and the professions. Researchers in engineering education call for innovative research methodologies to increase diversity in engineering education. My unique new materialist and arts-based research project explores the intersections of race, gender, history, STEM education, and the arts, and is guided by the principles of culturally responsive methodologies. I use this work-in-progress to better understand how the film Hidden Figures affected the public’s understanding of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics education and the professions. My purpose is to uncover and share additional hidden stories about Black women’s experiences in engineering education and the professions today, but also to demonstrate a different methodological framework that centers Black women’s voices and shifts how the lack of racial and gender diversity in engineering is perceived. I found that the film had a tremendous impact on women and girls of color by providing visible role models in STEM professions.

Robert, K. (2021, July), WIP Knowing Engineering Through the Arts: The Impact of the Film Hidden Figures on Perceptions of Engineering Using Arts-Based Research Methods Paper presented at 2021 ASEE Virtual Annual Conference Content Access, Virtual Conference.

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