July 26, 2021
July 26, 2021
July 19, 2022
Studies have shown that engineering does not attract and retain enough underrepresented engineering graduates to meet the demand for engineers in the workforce. Providing opportunities for children from diverse backgrounds to participate, learn, engage, and excel in STEM subjects in an inclusive environment at an early age may attract more diverse individuals to pursue STEM careers. The years in middle school are essential periods in promoting student’s interest in pursuing and preparing for a career path in STEM. There are so many opportunities in the building industry to connect students to engineering and potentially spark interest in pursuing engineering careers. Because buidlings are accessible and relatble, engineering learning can be made socially relevant to students by leveraging the connections that have already been established between students and buildings.
This paper aims to lay the groundwork for developing, implementing, and assessing the efficacy of a classroom intervention. The purpose of the proposed classroom intervention is to increase interest of 8th grade students from low-income households and STEM underrepresented groups in pursuing STEM-related careers, with a focus on engineering careers in the building industry. We draw on social cognitive career theory and identity-based motivation to understand how this intervention can support identity development, goal setting, and motivation for these future goals. The short-term classroom intervention provides opportunities for students to (1) engage in architectural engineering project-based learning activities ;(2) converse with a small group of architectural engineers from different background and areas of expertise through a panel discussion session about identities, perceptions, and experiences of being an engineer, motivation and pathway to becoming an engineer, information about tasks and responsibilities of current work; and (3) participate in career planning activities, with a focus on academic pathways to prepare for STEM oriented careers, implemented by the school counseling department. We hypothesize that this intervention will help support students’ abilities to see themselves as STEM people (i.e., identity) and support students future goals in STEM. To assess these outcomes, student’s pre- and post-intervention self-efficacy, personal goals, outcome expectations, and interest in engineering activities and careers will be assessed using the combined discipline-specific subscales from STEM Career Interest Survey (STEM-CIS) to understand the effects of the intervention on student’s interest in STEM subjects and careers. Additional student reflection data, prompted with open-ended questions, will be collected to provide insight to improve the intervention strategies. We plan to analyze the quantitative data using paired t-test for pre/post data and conduct a thematic analysis of the open-ended survey responses. These data will inform one another to understand how this effort provides supports for students career pathways. The results of this work can provide useful ways to better support STEM career pathways in middle-school students.
Yong, L. J. C., & Hanagan, L. M., & Godwin, A. (2021, July), Work In Progress: Middle School Architectural Engineering Education Pilot Program : Exploring Building Industry Careers as a Catalyst for Pursuing Engineering Careers Paper presented at 2021 ASEE Virtual Annual Conference Content Access, Virtual Conference. https://peer.asee.org/38182
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