Conference proceeding

Draw an Engineer Test (DAET): Development of a Tool to Investigate Students’ Ideas about Engineers and Engineering

The public has an incomplete understanding of engineers and engineering as a profession. In discussions about the public’s understanding of engineers, many have referenced the “conventional” stereotype of engineers as train operators. Though this stereotype may exist among students as well as the public, few investigations to date have focused on students’ ideas about engineers and engineering.

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Supporting Students’ STEM Innovations with Industry Partners

Many universities employ STEM outreach programs to spark interest in their disciplines by middle and high school students. Teaching Engineering Concepts to Harness Future Innovators and Technologists (TECHFIT) and the Nanoline Contest are two programs that are designed to give student teams an opportunity to explore STEM concepts with a final goal of innovating an automated system.

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Exploring the 3D Printing Process for Young Children in Curriculum-Aligned Making in the Classroom

With increasing focus on integrating 3D printing in educational settings, more emphasis needs to be placed on how to introduce young students to the complexities of the 3D printing process. Inspired by the patrons of 3D printer services, we engage children in a simplified 3D printing process. We conducted a study with two 3rd grade public school science classes over 4 days, where students were tasked to print 3D designs they find online for use in a class presentation.

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Personal Learning Journeys: Reflective Portfolios as “Objects-to-Learn-With” in an Etextiles High School Class

Much attention in constructionism has focused on the design of learning tools and support for students building artifacts. Far less attention has been placed on reflection and reflective artifacts that let students consider their own learning. In this paper we share an analysis of portfolios in which high school students reflected on the design of their electronic textile projects during an eight-week curricular unit in an Exploring Computer Science class, an introductory computing course for high school (secondary) students in the United States.

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Some Reflections on Designing Constructionist Activities for Classrooms

In this paper, we present our guiding principles for designing a constructionist curricular unit called Stitching the Loop with electronic textiles which introduce high school students to key concepts in crafting, circuit design and computing.

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Enhancing 3D Modeling with Augmented Reality in an After-school Engineering Program (Work in Progress)

3D printing is increasingly being used in manufacturing and engineering design processes. To be able to design and 3D print a feasible product it is essential to learn how to 3D model. Using 3D modeling software, students can build and iterate on their 3D designs. While these technologies make just-in-time manufacturing of designs and components feasible, they also raise new cognitive challenges: students need to develop visualization and evaluation skills to assess the feasibility of their 3D models during iterative design processes.

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From Toys to Tools: UAVs in Middle-school Engineering Education (RTP)

The National Center for Education Statistics reports that 52% of students in US K-12 public schools were eligible for free and reduced lunch during 2013-2014, up from 38 percent in 2000-2001. Research is needed to better understand how to create engaging and effective informal learning environments for this changing youth demographic. For instance, what are their interests? How can they be provided with experiences commensurate with peers who have greater opportunities? What are the aspirations of young people in middle-school who will be tomorrow’s leaders?

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Learning Engineering Practices Through Drones: Iterative Design of an Informal Learning Curriculum

Informal learning programs provide youth with additional opportunities to engage in STEM. Here, we report on an informal engineering program for low-income youth. We describe how a curriculum was modified to reflect the instructional shifts outlined in the Framework for K-12 Science Education and how these changes enhanced youth interests and engagement in engineering practices.
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Zipping to STEM: Integrating Engineering Design in Middle School Science

This 3-year ITEST project focuses on integrating engineering design concepts and practices in the middle school physical sciences curriculum.

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Proceedings of the 47th ACM Technical Symposium on Computing Science Education

In order to affect career decisions, it is important to reach youth at early ages. While some have focused on using mentors in order to successfully teach mentees, few have focused on the benefits to the mentors themselves. To our knowledge, no other research has been conducted on the effect that serving as a near-peer mentor has on increasing the mentors' interest, self-efficacy, value-beliefs, and skills in computer science. Our paid mentorships provided youth two weeks of participation in computer science camps using App Inventor.

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