- Award ID(s):
- Publication Date:
- NSF-PAR ID:
- Journal Name:
- Research in Science Education
- Sponsoring Org:
- National Science Foundation
More Like this
Use of geospatial technology in higher education facilitates student engagement, promotes deeper understanding of material, and supports inquiry-based learning. However, technology must be applied strategically to generate optimal results. While use of web-based interactive modules and short video are constructive in curriculum, it is beneficial to combine this with exposure to hands-on, experimental, field-based technologies. Experiential learning with technology in the physical environment allows students to understand both the challenges and achievements of scientific investigation. This creates a more comprehensive understanding of science as an iterative process of experimentation and investigation and enrichens course material. This paper explores the uniquely advantageous opportunity Geography educators have to combine classroom-based technology with field-based educational experiences. Classroom use of Geographic Information Systems (GIS) and Remotely Sensed data is increasingly accessible with abundant free educational resources. In addition, field-based use of technology can promote location awareness and spatial critical thinking with the use of GPS-based activities. GPS-based educational units also highlight the growing field of citizen science and can be designed as service-based learning opportunities. Use of highly affordable micro unmanned aerial vehicles (UAV) demonstrates data collection procedures. In addition, exposure to Surveying techniques and the field of Geomatics highlights real-world applications of geographicmore »
There is little research or understanding of curricular differences between two- and four-year programs, career development of engineering technology (ET) students, and professional preparation for ET early career professionals . Yet, ET credentials (including certificates, two-, and four-year degrees) represent over half of all engineering credentials awarded in the U.S . ET professionals are important hands-on members of engineering teams who have specialized knowledge of components and engineering systems. This research study focuses on how career orientations affect engineering formation of ET students educated at two-year colleges. The theoretical framework guiding this study is Social Cognitive Career Theory (SCCT). SCCT is a theory which situates attitudes, interests, and experiences and links self-efficacy beliefs, outcome expectations, and personal goals to educational and career decisions and outcomes . Student knowledge of attitudes toward and motivation to pursue STEM and engineering education can impact academic performance and indicate future career interest and participation in the STEM workforce . This knowledge may be measured through career orientations or career anchors. A career anchor is a combination of self-concept characteristics which includes talents, skills, abilities, motives, needs, attitudes, and values. Career anchors can develop over time and aid in shaping personal and career identity .more »
The First Year of an Undergraduate Service Learning Partnership to Enhance Engineering Education and Elementary Pre-Service Teacher EducationThis project was designed to address three major challenges faced by undergraduate engineering students (UES) and pre-service teachers (PSTs): 1) retention for UESs after the first year, and continued engagement when they reach more difficult concepts, 2) to prepare PSTs to teach engineering, which is a requirement in the Next Generation Science Standards as well as many state level standards of learning, and 3) to prepare both groups of students to communicate and collaborate in a multi-disciplinary context, which is a necessary skill in their future places of work. This project was implemented in three pairs of classes: 1) an introductory mechanical engineering class, fulfilling a general education requirement for information literacy and a foundations class in education, 2) fluid mechanics in mechanical engineering technology and a science methods class in education, and 3) mechanical engineering courses requiring programming (e.g., computational methods and robotics) with an educational technology class. All collaborations taught elementary level students (4th or 5th grade). For collaborations 1 and 2, the elementary students came to campus for a field trip where they toured engineering labs and participated in a one hour lesson taught by both the UESs and PSTs. In collaboration 3, the UESs and PSTsmore »
Need/Motivation (e.g., goals, gaps in knowledge) The ESTEEM implemented a STEM building capacity project through students’ early access to a sustainable and innovative STEM Stepping Stones, called Micro-Internships (MI). The goal is to reap key benefits of a full-length internship and undergraduate research experiences in an abbreviated format, including access, success, degree completion, transfer, and recruiting and retaining more Latinx and underrepresented students into the STEM workforce. The MIs are designed with the goals to provide opportunities for students at a community college and HSI, with authentic STEM research and applied learning experiences (ALE), support for appropriate STEM pathway/career, preparation and confidence to succeed in STEM and engage in summer long REUs, and with improved outcomes. The MI projects are accessible early to more students and build momentum to better overcome critical obstacles to success. The MIs are shorter, flexibly scheduled throughout the year, easily accessible, and participation in multiple MI is encouraged. ESTEEM also establishes a sustainable and collaborative model, working with partners from BSCS Science Education, for MI’s mentor, training, compliance, and building capacity, with shared values and practices to maximize the improvement of student outcomes. New Knowledge (e.g., hypothesis, research questions) Research indicates that REU/internship experiences canmore »
Web-based authentic inquiry experiences in large introductory classes consistently associated with significant learning gains for all students
Continuous calls for reform in science education emphasize the need to provide science experiences in lower-division courses to improve the retention of STEM majors and to develop science literacy and STEM skills for all students. Open or authentic inquiry and undergraduate research are effective science experiences leading to multiple gains in student learning and development. Most inquiry-based learning activities, however, are implemented in laboratory classes and the majority of them are guided inquiries. Although course-based undergraduate research experiences have significantly expanded the reach of the traditional apprentice approach, it is still challenging to provide research experiences to nonmajors and in large introductory courses. We examined student learning through a web-based authentic inquiry project implemented in a high-enrollment introductory ecology course for over a decade.
Results from 10 years of student self-assessment of learning showed that the authentic inquiry experiences were consistently associated with significant gains in self-perception of interest and understanding and skills of the scientific process for all students—both majors and nonmajors, both lower- and upper-division students, both women and men, and both URM and non-URM students. Student performance in evaluating the quality of an inquiry report, before and after the inquiry project, also showed significant learning gainsmore »
These findings suggest that authentic inquiry experiences can serve as an effective approach for engaging students in high-enrollment, introductory science courses. They can facilitate development of science literacy and STEM skills of all students, skills that are critical to students’ personal and professional success and to informed engagement in civic life.