June 15, 2014
June 15, 2014
June 18, 2014
K-12 & Pre-College Engineering
24.1408.1 - 24.1408.21
You're Hired! Infusing STEM and 21st Century Skills in Schools to Improve Attitudes Towards EngineeringWith the growing need for qualified employees in STEM-based careers, it is critical to developactivities for middle and high school students to increase their awareness of opportunities inthese areas. With proper design, increasing awareness of STEM-based careers in conjunctionwith overcoming current stereotypes can lead to a change in attitudes towards these variouscareers. Researchers at __________, along with __________ and __________, have developed‘You’re Hired!', a program providing middle and high school students a hands-on, authenticexperience in various engineering roles while assessing the change in a student’s attitude towardsthe engineering profession. Project design also incorporates within this engaging STEMexperience an opportunity in which students can hone their 21st Century Skills such ascollaboration, critical thinking and time management. As students conduct peer and self-assessments of their 21st Century Skills throughout this program, school administrators are quickto recognize the benefit of implementing a single program that brings both STEM and 21stCentury Skills into their districts. Evaluation of the program’s success includes a pre-survey andpost-survey to determine the impact of the comprehensive program on student’s attitudestowards engineering and engineering-related careers.‘You’re Hired!’ is a series of three STEM-based projects, given over the course of a schoolyear, that requires students to work as a ‘company’ for an entire school day to find a solution to arelevant, present-day problem. At the end of each project, the students communicate theirsolution to a community-led boardroom, comprised of school board members, communitystakeholders and local industry representatives. The 'You're Hired!' program is designed toimmerse students in an authentic real-world experience by incorporating the engineering designprocess and 21st Century Skills, and to track their progress in these areas throughout the yearusing peer- and self-assessments.This research project uses both quantitative and qualitative analysis to analyze the data gatheredduring the program. The initial findings demonstrate that the 'You're Hired!' program appears tobe effective in increasing the awareness and attitudes of students towards the field of engineeringand engineering-related careers. This paper will present the details of the program, themethodology for data collection and analysis, and a discussion of the findings. The researcherswill also discuss the rapid popularity and growth of the program due to schools striving toimplement STEM for all students and assess 21st Century Skills. The paper will also describeplans to expand the program across a tri-state region as well as developing a model forsustainability and expansion to other regions.
Brevik, K. M., & Bowen, B., & Bowman, F. M., & Jean, K. (2014, June), You're Hired! Changing Students' Attitudes Towards Engineering Paper presented at 2014 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, Indianapolis, Indiana. https://peer.asee.org/22798
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