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Work in Progress: Seeking Wa:k Community Perspectives on Engineering

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2019 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition


Tampa, Florida

Publication Date

June 15, 2019

Start Date

June 15, 2019

End Date

October 19, 2019

Conference Session

Minorities in Engineering Division Technical Session 4

Tagged Division

Minorities in Engineering

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Paper Authors


Ieshya Anderson Arizona State University

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Ieshya Anderson is Tohono O’odham, born for Diné, Tł’ááshchí’í clan. Ieshya graduated from Arizona State University, Ira A. Fulton Schools of Engineering with a Bachelor of Science in Engineering, emphasis in electrical systems. She is pursuing her PhD in Engineering Education Systems and Design at Arizona State University. Ieshya also continues to work with Dr. Shawn Jordan to develop engineering design curricula for middle school students on the Navajo reservation and facilitates Dr. Jordan's STEAM Machines™ outreach camps across the Navajo Nation with the ambition to expand to Tohono O'odham Nation.

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Shawn S. Jordan Arizona State University, Polytechnic campus Orcid 16x16

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SHAWN JORDAN, Ph.D. is an Associate Professor of engineering in the Ira A. Fulton Schools of Engineering at Arizona State University. He teaches context-centered electrical engineering and embedded systems design courses, and studies the use of context in both K-12 and undergraduate engineering design education. He received his Ph.D. in Engineering Education (2010) and M.S./B.S. in Electrical and Computer Engineering from Purdue University. Dr. Jordan is PI on several NSF-funded projects related to design, including an NSF Early CAREER Award entitled “CAREER: Engineering Design Across Navajo Culture, Community, and Society” and “Might Young Makers be the Engineers of the Future?,” and is a Co-PI on the NSF Revolutionizing Engineering Departments grant “Additive Innovation: An Educational Ecosystem of Making and Risk Taking.” He was named one of ASEE PRISM’s “20 Faculty Under 40” in 2014, and received a Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers from President Obama in 2017.

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Seeking Wa:k Community Perspectives in Engineering (Work in Progress) Abstract This Research Work in Progress investigates a Native American community’s perspectives regarding community and cultural connections to engineering. Effective problem-solving and diverse solutions are essential to addressing issues facing society. To help ensure diversity, solutions need to include Native American perspectives. Native Americans are among the most underrepresented minority (URM) population in STEM fields in the United States, and yet little is known about why so few Native Americans choose to pursue higher education and careers in STEM fields. Recognizing that community and culture help shape students’ academic and personal development, it is important to consider how the students’ community regard, understand, and experience engineering and the role(s) that engineering could play within the community. This study is a work in progress which will seek to answer the research question, how do members of the Wa:k community perceive and understand engineering? In this paper, we will present the framework, methods, procedures, data collection, and preliminary findings. Through the lens of social constructivism, this qualitative study will explore how Wa:k community members regard, understand and experience engineering in the context of their Tohono O’odham culture and community. Data for this research study will be based on the perspectives of Tohono O’odham adults using semi-structured interviews. An iterative process of peer reviews, memoing, and coding will be used for interview transcript analysis. Utilizing In Vivo and Concept mixed methods coding, the data will be analyzed for any emergent themes and/or categories. Results from this research study could be used to inform culturally-relevant engineering engagement strategies to serve Tohono O’odham students and point to directions for further research.

Anderson, I., & Jordan, S. S. (2019, June), Work in Progress: Seeking Wa:k Community Perspectives on Engineering Paper presented at 2019 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition , Tampa, Florida. 10.18260/1-2--33646

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