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ERIC Number: EJ1254572
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2017-Apr
Pages: 19
Abstractor: As Provided
ISSN: ISSN-1069-4730
Collaborating for Early-Age Career Awareness: A Comparison of Three Instructional Formats
Colston, Nicole; Thomas, Julie; Ley, M. Tyler; Ivey, Toni; Utley, Juliana
Journal of Engineering Education, v106 n2 p326-344 Apr 2017
Background: Early-age engineering education can enhance preparedness and generate interest in engineering careers prior to college. This article reports on collaboration between a university engineer and science teacher educators to introduce engineering career awareness in elementary classrooms. The resulting elementary school curriculum, Engineering is Everywhere, features video instruction by the engineer, a teacher activity guide, and a materials kit. Purpose/Research Questions: Our research question was, "How might engineers and educators best collaborate in elementary engineering outreach efforts?" We co-developed curricula, prepared classroom teachers, and compared fifth-grade student learning outcomes to determine the most beneficial type of engineer instruction. Design/Method: A quasi-experimental research design assessed the effectiveness of three instructional formats--engineer-led, engineer-visit, and engineer-video. Pre- and post-tests captured changes in fifth-grade students' understanding about the work of engineers and attitudes about engineering. Results: Findings indicated significant gains in all students' understanding, with some differences across the three instructional formats. The engineer-led students did not show significant changes in overall engineering attitudes. Only the engineer-video students demonstrated significant gains in engineering job interests. Conclusions: A qualitative comparison of the costs and benefits of each instructional format raised important considerations for planning engineer outreach. We recommend that engineers collaborate with science teacher educators in the design of video instruction and assist in preparing elementary classroom teachers to administer the lesson activities.
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Elementary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: National Science Foundation (NSF)
Authoring Institution: N/A
Grant or Contract Numbers: CMMI1150404