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  1. This research paper investigates the relationship between race/ ethnicity, gender, first-generation college student status, and engineering identity using cross-sectional data from early-career engineering majors. Measures of engineering identity are increasingly used in models of engineering education to evaluate how identity contributes to success and persistence of engineering students. Engineering identity is generally assumed to contribute to educational success, with stronger engineering identity leading to persistence. At the same time, data clearly shows that persistence of engineering students varies by race/ethnicity and gender. Given these previous findings, we would expect to find that engineering identity will vary by race/ ethnicity, gender, and first generation status. Yet, relatively little work has quantitatively compared how engineering identity differs across racial/ ethnic groups and gender. While researchers are increasingly trying to gain a better understanding of engineering identity among Latina students, for example, the literature has not yet adequately accounted for how Latina students differ from their non-Hispanic white peers. This works seeks to address that gap in the literature with an exploration of the ways that race/ethnicity, gender, and first generation status work together to impact engineering identity among early-career engineering students at four public Hispanic-Serving Institutions (HSIs) in the Southwestern United States.more »We conducted surveys as part of a longitudinal study on STEM education. Data discussed here comes from baseline surveys of three cohorts of engineering students (N=475). Approximately two-thirds of the respondents were attending a traditional 4-year university while the remainder (N=159) were attending community college at the time of the survey. Approximately two-thirds of the respondents identified as Latinx, 27% identified as female, and 26.5% reported that they were first-generation college students. While expectations were that engineering identity would vary by race/ethnicity and gender, preliminary analyses of our data unexpectedly reveal no significant differences between Latinx and White students in terms of their engineering identity and no significant differences in engineering identity between male and female students. Interactions between race/ethnicity and gender were also tested and yielded no significant differences between early-career Latinx and White students in terms of their engineering identity. Finally, students who reported that they will be the first in their family to get a college degree had significantly lower engineering identity scores (=-.422; p=.001). These results lead us to conclude that first generation status at HSIs may be more important than gender and race/ ethnicity in the development of engineering identity for early career students.« less
  2. Technology can assist instructional designers and teachers in meeting the needs of learners in traditional classrooms and virtual course environments. During the COVID-19 pandemic, many teachers and instructional designers began looking for resources they could use for hybrid and online course delivery. Many found that the cost of some technology tools was well outside of their financial means to assist them in meeting student learning outcomes. However, some digital tools provide free access for educators and are beneficial to students. In this article, the authors shared five tools they have used in developing and teaching online and traditional technology courses at the college level. They share how they used a learning management system tool, a collaboration tool, a search engine tool, a content creation tool, and a content sharing tool to engage students in their courses. As teachers look for alternatives to use as they move content from classroom teaching to online instruction, this article can help them consider the recommended tools for instruction. Teachers, instructors, and instructional designers may explore the free digital tools in this article and do further research on other digital tools to support student learning in their disciplines.
  3. The end goal of this research is assessing the feasibility of using enzyme induced carbonate precipitation (EICP) to create a cemented top layer to control runoff erosion in sloping sandy soil. The paper presents the results of an experimental study of bench-scale tests on EICP-treated sands to determine a treatment method feasible for field placement for this application. The soils tested were two natural sands and Ottawa 20-30 sand used as control. The EICP application methods were percolation by gravity, one-step mix-compact, and two-step mix-compact. Other conditions considered were pre-rinsing the sand prior to treatment, adjusting soil pH prior to treatment, and changing the EICP solution concentration. Promising results for this field application were obtained using the two-step mix-compact when the soil was first mixed with the urease enzyme solution before compaction. Considering that the EICP reaction starts once all components are added, this method would ensure that the reaction does not take place before the protective layer of treated soil has been installed. The effect of pre-rinsing the natural sand was not consistent throughout the testing conditions and its role in improving soil cementation in natural sand needs further study.
  4. This work in progress paper describes initial findings from a multi-cohort, longitudinal study designed to investigate engineering identity development and the role it plays in postsecondary engineering students’ commitment to the field and educational persistence. Although engineering identity is often considered an important contributing factor to educational and occupational persistence, there are few quantitative studies that directly examine this link. This study aims to address this gap and contribute to a better understanding of how we may foster engineering identity and help support students in their educational trajectories. To capture engineering identity, we use survey questions developed and validated in previous research to measure three scientific identity concepts: interest, recognition by self and others, and perceptions of competence and performance in engineering. Drawing on additional concepts in the literature, we also include measures of sense of belonging and commitment to an engineering career. In the spring semester 2019, a baseline survey for our first cohort was administered to 179 early career, engineering students across three public postsecondary Hispanic Serving Institutions (HSIs) in the Southwest United States. A little more than half of the respondents (N=93) were attending a traditional 4-year university while the remainder (N=86) were attending community college atmore »the time of the survey. Almost 70% of the respondents identified as Latinx, approximately 30% identified as female, and about one-third reported that they were first generation college students. To examine whether students with higher engineering identity, sense of belonging and career commitment are more likely to persist into their second year and have higher college GPAs, institutional enrollment and achievement data were obtained for all survey participants in our first cohort. Logistic and ordinary least squares (OLS) regression were used to test for significant associations, controlling for demographic factors. Preliminary findings suggest that engineering students’ sense of belonging to the field may be especially important.« less
  5. STEM Outreach Center is a non-profit educational center in southern New Mexico that supports K-12 STEM teachers and students by providing professional development, after school programs, summer camps, and field visits. This center has been organizing the Summer Institute Professional Development (SIPD) for more than ten years. The purpose of this research is to understand the effect of SIPD on teachers’ pedagogy to excite and engage students in STEM learning. This study contributes to the program evaluation by analyzing the experiences of teachers who participated in SIPD. This qualitative study uses the open-ended questionnaire as a method of data collection. The findings of this study show that teachers who attended the SIPD are eager to (i) integrate readings and arts in STEM teaching practices, (ii) improve their teaching pedagogies, and (iii) look for additional resources to support STEM teaching. Therefore, the authors recommend further research on how teachers transfer skills into their classrooms after attending SIPD.