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Title: Does EPICS as a Pre-college Program Foster Engineering Identity Development as Correlated to Doing Engineering?
Engineering Projects in Community Service (EPICS) is a middle and high school program, with a focus on the engineering design process and delivering real solutions to community partners. In order to evaluate the efficacy of the program, a pre-post test design was implemented to examine changes in attitudinal and behavioral measures. Pre-data were collected at the beginning of the school year, and paralleled the program’s registration process to ensure high response rates; post- data were then collected at the end of the school year. Demographic data demonstrate that of all 2018 - 2019 registered EPICS participants (N = 414), 41 percent were female; 66.6 percent were non-white; and 30 percent held first generation student status. Importantly, 68.5 percent of participants reported that neither parent or guardian is an engineer, and 65.7 percent of participants reported that they “definitely will attend” a four-year university. These data suggest that the current sample is ideal for evaluating EPICS as a pre-college engineering education program, because most participants are not experiencing engineering in the home and may be less susceptible to parental pressures for choosing engineering as a college major and potential career, but have salient intentions to attend college. In addition to collecting more » demographic information, participants completed a series of measures designed to capture attitudes and behaviors toward engineering as a potential career field. The main measures of interest include Engineering Identity and Doing Engineering. Engineering Identity scores reflect participants’ personal and professional identities as engineers; Doing Engineering scores indicate participants’ prior experience with engineering and its related technical skills. Baseline data on the sample reveal average engineering identities (M = 38.41, SD = 6.44, 95% CI [37.77, 39.05]). A series of t-tests was conducted to examine gender differences in these measures. Men reported significantly higher engineering identities (M = 37.65, SD = 6.58) compared to women (M = 39.54, SD = 6.09), t(360) = 2.95, p = .003, F = .037. Men reported stronger and more frequent experiences with engineering, indicated by their higher Doing Engineering scores (M = 13.75, SD = 5.16), compared to women (M = 15.31, SD = 4.69), t(368) = 3.13, p = .002, F = .003. Interestingly, first generation students reported higher engineering identities (M = 37.45, SD = 6.53) compared to non-first generation students (M = 39.66, SD = 5.99), t(375) = 3.46, p = .001, F = 1.39. To examine the relationship between Engineering Identity and Doing Engineering, a correlation analysis was conducted and a moderate, positive relationship emerged, such that as students’ experience with engineering increased, their engineering identities also increased (R = .463, p > .000). « less
Authors:
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Award ID(s):
1744539
Publication Date:
NSF-PAR ID:
10297616
Journal Name:
2020 ASEE Virtual Annual Conference Content Access
Sponsoring Org:
National Science Foundation
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