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As institutions have struggled to chart a path forward through the current pandemic environment, a greater emphasis has been placed on online and hybrid delivery modes. In first-year programs in particular, instructors are scrambling to identify how best to deliver foundational concepts of engineering design in a remote or socially-distanced in-person environment and still retain the high-interactivity and community building aspects that have become so central to their programs. To this end, two asynchronous, interactive modules have been developed introducing the foundational design concepts of stakeholders, need statements, information gathering, and design specifications. The modules are developed in such a way that student responses to each interaction, such as identifying stakeholders or matching need statements, is captured for later analysis. The modules were deployed with first-semester engineering students enrolled in a Foundations of Design course. In this work the modules are introduced and student responses analyzed to answer the question: What are typical standards of performance on these modules for first-year engineering students? Basic descriptive statistics and trends are presented to define these standards. This includes quantitative measures, such as a how many stakeholders are identified when prompted, as well as more subjective measures, such as how well did themore »
As high school programs are increasingly incorporating engineering content into their curricula, a question is raised as to the impacts of those programs on student attitudes towards engineering, in particular engineering design. From a collegiate perspective, there is a related question as to how first-year engineering programs at the college level should adapt to a greater percentage of incoming students with prior conceptions about engineering design and how to efficaciously uncover what those conceptions may be. Further, there is a broader question within engineering design as to how various design experiences, especially introductory experiences, may influence student attitudes towards the subject and towards engineering more broadly. Student attitudes is a broad and well-studied area and a wide array of instruments have been shown to be valid and reliable assessments of various aspects of student motivation, self-efficacy, and interests. In terms of career interests, the STEM Career Interest Survey (STEM-CIS) has been widely used in grade school settings to gauge student intentions to pursue STEM careers, with a subscale focused on engineering. In self-efficacy and motivation, the Value-Expectancy STEM Assessment Scale (VESAS) is a STEM-focused adaptation of the broader Values, Interest, and Expectations Scale (VIES), which in turns builds upon Eccles’more »
With programs like Project Lead The Way, engineering activities and curricula have increased in frequency in secondary school programs. In 2013, Next Generation Science Standards were published formalizing the importance of science and engineering practices in secondary schools as part of the ‘Three Dimensions of Science Learning’. For a typical secondary science department, the current engineering options can either be very expensive and/or very time consuming (often requiring engineering courses outside of traditional science courses). The purpose of a broader NSF-funded project is to create and evaluate a more accessible system for engaging students in one of the key components of engineering design: problem framing. This work presents one tool developed as part of that effort, the Need Identification Canvas (NIC), and the assessment methods developed for evaluating students’ engineering problem-framing skills using the NIC. The NIC is a tool for guiding novice designers through the need identification process, specifically addressing four key subcategories: stakeholders, stakeholder needs, a need statement, and information gathering. Student responses in each category were evaluated using a rubric, developed as part of this effort. The canvas has been implemented with suburban high school biology, chemistry, physics, and physical science classes (N=55) as well as first-yearmore »
As the importance to integrate engineering into K12 curricula grows so does the need to develop teachers’ engineering teaching capabilities and knowledge. One method that has been used to aid this development is engineering professional development programs. This evaluation paper presents the successes and challenges of an engineering professional development program for teachers focused around the use of engineering problem-framing design activities in high school science classrooms. These activities were designed to incorporate the cross-cutting ideas published in the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS) and draw on best practices for instructional design of problem-framing activities from research on design and model-eliciting activities (MEAs). The professional development (PD) was designed to include the following researched-based effective PD key elements: (1) is content focused, (2) incorporates active learning, (3) supports collaboration, (4) uses models of effective practice, (5) provides coaching and expert support, (6) offers feedback and reflection, and (7) is of sustained duration. The engineering PD, including in-classroom deployment of activities and data collection, was designed as an iterative process to be conducted over a three-year period. This will allow for improvement and refinement of our approach. The first iteration, reported in this paper, consisted of seven high school science teachersmore »