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Title: Student perceptions about participation in co-curricular engineering projects - an Institutional Study at Cal Poly San Luis Obispo.
Co-curricular team projects in engineering – like design projects, experimental assignments, or national project-based competitions or challenges – can be key experiences for students in forming personal and professional skills and traits. Little concrete data is available about why students choose to participate or not participate in such activities though, and how their participation and perceptions of the activities may be influenced by factors such as their gender identity, race/ethnicity, and other facets of themselves and their experiences. Without this data, it is difficult to conceive of strategies to improve participation in certain activities among groups of people who are otherwise under-represented compared even to their representation at the College level. The research was devised to gather insight into why students chose to participate or not participate, and what they felt the benefits and detrimental effects of participation were. The pilot study was conducted at the Cal Poly San Luis Obispo campus, which is part of the California State University system - it has a student cohort that is not particularly diverse compared to the rest of the system or highly representative of state demographics, and it has an institutional focus on applied, hands- on learning that means that a more » high number of students participate in co-curricular engineering projects. A 70 question survey tool, adapted from an existing tool, garnered responses from nearly 500 students, with demographic and identity questions preceding sections about factors that led to participation or non- participation, and then perceptions of positive and negative outcomes that can come from involvement in co-curricular engineering projects. « less
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Conference proceedings - Hawaii International Conference on Education
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National Science Foundation
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