714 Views
  1. Virginia Davis
  2. https://wp.auburn.edu/davisva/
  3. Daniel F. and Josephine Breeden Professor
  4. Presenter’s NSFRESOURCECENTERS
  5. Auburn University
  1. Edward Davis
  2. http://ewdavislabs.com/
  3. Assistant Professor
  4. Presenter’s NSFRESOURCECENTERS
  5. Auburn University
  1. Joni Lakin
  2. http://www.jonilakin.net
  3. Associate Professor, Educational Research
  4. Presenter’s NSFRESOURCECENTERS
  5. University of Alabama Tuscaloosa
  1. Daniela Marghitu
  2. http://eng.auburn.edu/~daniela/
  3. Faculty and Director LEAT Research Lab
  4. Presenter’s NSFRESOURCECENTERS
  5. Auburn University

RFE Design and Development: Framing Engineering as Community Activism for Val...

NSF Awards: 1826181

2021 (see original presentation & discussion)

Grades 6-8, Grades 9-12, Undergraduate

This video highlights the Tomorrow's Community Innovator program developed at Auburn University for connecting engineering and altruism. This program is part of a research grant that seeks to understand how framing engineering as altruism affects the knowledge and attitudes of youth historically underrepresented in STEM. The research also provides insights into how serving as a mentor affects the engineering identity of undergraduate engineering students. 

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Discussion from the 2021 STEM For All Video Showcase (30 posts)
  • Icon for: Jennifer Kidd

    Jennifer Kidd

    Higher Ed Faculty
    May 10, 2021 | 05:49 p.m.

    Exciting project! We're also banking on a similar idea - that a service learning project in undergraduate engineering classes will help female and underrepresented minority students persevere in their programs. Our service learning project brings 4th and 5th graders to our campus to expose them to engineering lessons taught by the undergraduate students. So, it seems we have much in common. I've recently been thinking about the importance of the relationships between the college students and the kids. I've seen the relationships as powerful motivators. I'm curious if you see similar findings. How are you studying the engineering identity of your students?

     
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    Cristo Leon
    Virginia Davis
    Joni Lakin
  • Icon for: Virginia Davis

    Virginia Davis

    Lead Presenter
    Daniel F. and Josephine Breeden Professor
    May 10, 2021 | 07:32 p.m.

    Thank you, Jennifer! We are also studying how serving as mentors for high school students affects the engineering identity of undergraduates from underrepresented groups. That work is largely based on interviews with the mentors  - we hope to submit the paper in the near future. I very much believe in "if they can see us they can be us" (a variant of the role model hypothesis). I also think that being a role model and doing outreach is motivating for the facilitators, but there is much less literature on how "near-peer mentoring" affects mentors. I'm excited you are looking into it!   In short, we used a mixed-methods approach with 1) pre/post surveys and 2) qualitative analysis of pre-and post-camp one-on-one interviews. @Joni Lakin can add more detail on the methods, she'll be presenting  at ASEE this summer.  Our current efforts are based on work we did looking at the effects of framing engineering as altruism in 1st year engineering programs. You can find those publications on my Google Scholar page or I can email them if you are interested.  

    Thanks again for starting us off with a great comment!

     
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    Jennifer Kidd
    Joni Lakin
  • Icon for: Joni Lakin

    Joni Lakin

    Co-Presenter
    Associate Professor, Educational Research
    May 11, 2021 | 09:36 a.m.

    Virginia covered all the main points. We used interviews mainly to talk about identity in terms of their future selves and career goals. In addition, we used goal congruency theory ideas to look at how students' perceptions of engineering (i.e., is it prosocial?) would interact with their own values to make them feel interested or confident about being an engineer.

    The role of the mentors was positive for the mentors, too. Dr. Leonard Taylor at AU did interviews with them about their experiences and their own engineering identity was strengthened by the experience.

     
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    Shihadah Saleem
    Virginia Davis
  • Icon for: Virginia Davis

    Virginia Davis

    Lead Presenter
    Daniel F. and Josephine Breeden Professor
    May 10, 2021 | 07:13 p.m.

    Thank you for watching our video about Tomorrow's Community Innovators. We welcome questions and feedback. We are also specifically interested in how you viewed engineering before watching the video and whether it changed your perceptions of engineering. 

  • Icon for: Shihadah Saleem

    Shihadah Saleem

    Facilitator
    Sr. Manager of Youth Leadership and Alumni Programs
    May 11, 2021 | 10:45 a.m.

    I'm not sure if the video changed my perception of engineering specifically, but rather how students may engage in and/or take advantage of an engineering program. Would love to know more about the engineering courses/classes the students were involved in. 

     
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    Virginia Davis
  • Icon for: Virginia Davis

    Virginia Davis

    Lead Presenter
    Daniel F. and Josephine Breeden Professor
    May 11, 2021 | 02:00 p.m.

    The undergraduate students were in the "normal" undergraduate classes based on their engineering major. They were all also involved in Auburn's Academic Excellence program for minority engineers http://www.eng.auburn.edu/admin/aep/index.html and/or  Cupola Engineering Ambassadors program. Both these programs provide students with training and experience serving as role models. The two students featured in the video are also from the same geographical area as the high school student cohort. 

     
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    Shihadah Saleem
  • Icon for: Chip Bruce

    Chip Bruce

    Facilitator
    Professor Emeritus
    May 11, 2021 | 07:03 a.m.

    Great project! I'm also interested in what the mentors learn. I participated in an intergenerational reading project with middle school students, and while I believe that they learned from the older folks, it seemed that the learning was greater the other way. Also, the classroom teachers, who directed the project were themselves the greatest learners.

    Can you say more about engineering as altruism?

     
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    Virginia Davis
    Shihadah Saleem
  • Icon for: Joni Lakin

    Joni Lakin

    Co-Presenter
    Associate Professor, Educational Research
    May 11, 2021 | 09:39 a.m.

    We talk about "framing" a lot, meaning that engineering can be presented in many ways--a way to get a secure job, a way to help others, a way to use your math and science skills. Our hypothesis was that framing engineering as a pro-social or altruistic career field would increase students' interest in engineering if they held pro-social values or career goals. Basically, none of those framings are wrong, but we thought that highlighting the way that engineers affect everyday lives, helps people around the world, and/or work collaboratively would make the field more attractive to a broader range of students.

     

    Like you, we also found the benefits to the mentors was at least as powerful as the benefits to the mentees. Thanks for the question! 

     
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    Virginia Davis
    Shihadah Saleem
  • Icon for: Nancy Staus

    Nancy Staus

    Facilitator
    Senior Researcher, STEM Education
    May 11, 2021 | 10:31 a.m.

    I think the framing of altruism  is so important--in my own research I have seen the importance of empathy, particularly for girls, during adolescence. I am wondering what you are hoping to see in terms of outcomes from this project. Are you tracking participants to see if they end up majoring in engineering or other STEM fields? What are your measures of success?

     
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    Virginia Davis
    Shihadah Saleem
  • Icon for: Joni Lakin

    Joni Lakin

    Co-Presenter
    Associate Professor, Educational Research
    May 11, 2021 | 10:43 a.m.

    We were interested mainly in short-term indicators--perceptions of engineering (i.e., how much it meets individual or communal goals) as well as interest in and self-efficacy for learning more about engineering. The most interesting finding that might warrant longitudinal follow up is their definitions of engineering. The students were really moved by the scope of engineering. For example, one student said "[engineering] could be anything, anything in the world". Not every student said they were interested in engineering for their own career, but almost every one said something like that about how their appreciation of engineering grew. I would be curious how that excitement might shape their interest over time--seeking out engineering videos or other camps. It would probably take more than one summer camp to change a student's career pathway if they weren't interested in engineering at all. But many students connected their prior interests to engineering (e.g., a student who was thinking about medical school started thinking about biomedical engineering).

    COVID messed with our plans (like everyone!) but we had planned to bring them back for different STEM camps in year 2 and we have a handful that are coming this summer, so we are excited to talk with them again and see how those initial impressions have held up over time. Thanks for the question!

     
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    Shihadah Saleem
  • Icon for: Shihadah Saleem

    Shihadah Saleem

    Facilitator
    Sr. Manager of Youth Leadership and Alumni Programs
    May 11, 2021 | 10:42 a.m.

    Great project! I'm interested to know how you're able to sustain interest and support for the students involved in the program, especially as they continue their journey to high school and college? Have you thought about the significance of different types of mentorship during and after the program?

  • Icon for: Daniela Marghitu

    Daniela Marghitu

    Co-Presenter
    Faculty and Director LEAT Research Lab
    May 11, 2021 | 10:52 a.m.








    This NSF RFE grant challenged my Computer Science and Software Engineering students to develop innovative K12 educational Robotics, Apps, IOT, VR/AR applications introducing the National Grand Challenges for Engineering. Evaluations clearly showed how excited students were to discover the magic of computing applications. In Spring 2021, we were even able to teach our curriculum in virtual mod, due to COVID!  There work was already presented at 2 national and international conference and it will be presented this summer at another international conference. 
     






     
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    Virginia Davis
  • Icon for: Joni Lakin

    Joni Lakin

    Co-Presenter
    Associate Professor, Educational Research
    May 11, 2021 | 10:53 a.m.

    Great questions! In 2019-2020, following the camp we had a weekend event in the community where the students were from. We talked to parents about engineering in general and the summer camps available. The students went to different "stations" where the mentors were showing different kinds of engineering topics or technology. Later that semester, we brought all the students to our campus (about 2 hours away) for Engineering Day (an annual event for HS students from across the state) where they participated in the open house activities for the different majors and had lunch with a program specifically for underrepresented groups in engineering.

    One thing to note was our mentors were engineering majors and mostly from the region where the students were from. During camp, they were both in the labs with students during the day and also the counselors who stayed in the dorms with the students, so they spent A LOT of quality time together. One thing that didn't really work (and I'd LOVE some ideas here) was keeping them in informal connection during the school year. At the end of camp, we asked students which mentors they would most like to stay in touch with, but when we tried to use GroupMe and other informal communication channels, it was dead air. We didn't want to hold many formal events to bring them together, because our mentors were all really involved and busy students, but the open-ended invitation to connect wasn't effective.

     
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    Virginia Davis
    Shihadah Saleem
  • Icon for: Nancy Staus

    Nancy Staus

    Facilitator
    Senior Researcher, STEM Education
    May 11, 2021 | 12:30 p.m.

    I think for the communication to work it would have to be initiated and maintained by the mentors which I know would be time-consuming. But even a few brief communications during the year might maintain the relationships that formed during the camp for some youth.

     
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    Joni Lakin
  • Icon for: Virginia Davis

    Virginia Davis

    Lead Presenter
    Daniel F. and Josephine Breeden Professor
    May 11, 2021 | 01:50 p.m.

    Our goal was to have regular academic year communication between the facilitators and students using a monitored GroupMe. However, after several logistical hiccups we found out the students just weren't that interested. We are encouraged by follow-up participation by the students at the two academic year events. We also have a number of the 2019 cohort returning to attend other Auburn Summer Camps in 2021 where we will incorporate the idea of engineering as altruism into other programs.

     

  • May 11, 2021 | 03:03 p.m.

    Teaching STEM students kindness, compassion and altruism is so important. The earlier we start the better. This does mesh well with our Algae Grows the Future video. Our overall goal was to educate our students so that they understood that that engineering and the humanities come together to produce the "Global Engineer".

    https://stemforall2021.videohall.com/presentati...

     

     
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    Virginia Davis
    Joni Lakin
  • Icon for: Virginia Davis

    Virginia Davis

    Lead Presenter
    Daniel F. and Josephine Breeden Professor
    May 12, 2021 | 10:39 p.m.

    I do love your video. I like the idea of the Global Engineer. I think it is helpful for students to see that while they can have different classes or teachers, many fields fit together.

  • Icon for: Shihadah Saleem

    Shihadah Saleem

    Facilitator
    Sr. Manager of Youth Leadership and Alumni Programs
    May 11, 2021 | 09:20 p.m.

    Thank you all for your responses. As I also work with middle and high school female-identifying students in a summer STEM program, I always encourage participants to share what was lacking and/or needs improvement, often it provides great feedback for staff, curriculum development and outcomes. Did your program offer this kind of dialogue to gain more student feedback and address potential needs?

  • Icon for: Joni Lakin

    Joni Lakin

    Co-Presenter
    Associate Professor, Educational Research
    May 12, 2021 | 09:05 a.m.

    Oh yes, we did and we had some good conversations, but we did that after the summer camp and before the academic year events. We weren't able to get any clear ideas of why the informal methods didn't work. I think in the future, we might start those channels DURING the camp so there's not a long gap before they are using it (and no one will feel like they have to break the ice)

     
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    Discussion is closed. Upvoting is no longer available

    Shihadah Saleem
  • Icon for: Danielle Harlow

    Danielle Harlow

    Higher Ed Faculty
    May 12, 2021 | 11:32 a.m.

    Great project! I love the last line of the video "...guide the kids to the door so they can unlock it for themselves." 

  • Icon for: Virginia Davis

    Virginia Davis

    Lead Presenter
    Daniel F. and Josephine Breeden Professor
    May 12, 2021 | 10:37 p.m.

    I loved that too! It was really great to hear  two of the mentors talk about the camp in their own words.

  • May 12, 2021 | 01:34 p.m.

    This is exciting work! I am a strong proponent of the idea that all students need to experience engineering, even if they do not become engineers. After all, they may end up in careers that impact engineering directly or indirectly such as law or politics. Do you have ideas for how the work you are doing can be expanded to impact more K-12 students?

  • Icon for: Joni Lakin

    Joni Lakin

    Co-Presenter
    Associate Professor, Educational Research
    May 12, 2021 | 03:28 p.m.

    I think the "framing" part is pretty easy to adopt. If you're doing an engineering challenge, give it a real world context that shows how the designed solution helps others or solves a real problem. The Grand Challenges of Engineering are highly motivating to students as are the UN's Sustainable Development Goals. Challenges or lessons aligned to any of those ideas would demonstrate how engineering solves important challenges.

    I think local connections for challenges may be especially valuable for students. We haven't really explored whether global (distant) challenges are as effective as challenges connected to students own communities, but I really think the latter is what may engage students' interest long-term. In 2019, we did a unit about urban infrastructure and tied it to an Amazon distribution plant that was just announced in the students' hometown. I think that was more cognitively engaging and meaningful than if it had been hypothetical infrastructure.

     
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    Shihadah Saleem
  • Icon for: Shihadah Saleem

    Shihadah Saleem

    Facilitator
    Sr. Manager of Youth Leadership and Alumni Programs
    May 12, 2021 | 07:22 p.m.

    Joni- that's awesome, giving students context and experiences to affect change and understand community and municipal infrastructures can help to empower them towards the betterment of immediate communities, even their own

     
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    Virginia Davis
  • Icon for: Jennifer Kidd

    Jennifer Kidd

    Higher Ed Faculty
    May 13, 2021 | 05:00 p.m.

    Hi Virginia, You said "Our current efforts are based on work we did looking at the effects of framing engineering as altruism in 1st year engineering programs. You can find those publications on my Google Scholar page or I can email them if you are interested."

    I couldn't figure out how to reply to your comment. Yes, I'd love to see your publications if you can share your page or send them to me (jkidd@odu.edu).

  • Icon for: Virginia Davis

    Virginia Davis

    Lead Presenter
    Daniel F. and Josephine Breeden Professor
    May 13, 2021 | 05:46 p.m.

    Jennifer

    Thanks for your interest. I just watched your video and loved it. Part of Tomorrow's Community Innovators also has included App Development and Robotics led by Dr. Mardghitu and her students. 

    I'm attaching the hyperlinks below in case others are interested.  If there are any you can't access please let me know. Some of the articles relate to freshmen some to middle/high school students and some to both. 

    Our NanoHub pages from looking at freshman and nanotechnology solutions to grand challenges NSF NUE # 1446060 contain teaching and evaluation materials. The activities are readily adaptable for freshmen classrooms, outreach camps and open house events.  https://nanohub.org/members/145840/contributions

    Introducing Engineering as an Altruistic STEM Career Breadcrumb J Lakin, D Marghitu, V Davis, E Davis - The Science Teacher, 2021   Am I an engineer yet? Perceptions of engineering and identity among first year students JM Lakin, AH Wittig, EW Davis, VA Davis - European Journal of Engineering Education, 2020   Work in Progress: Framing Engineering as Community Activism for Values-Driven Engineering V Davis, J Lakin, D Marghitu, E Davis - ASEE Southeast Regional Conference, 2020     Predicting intent to persist from career values and alignment for women and underrepresented minority students JM Lakin, VA Davis, EW Davis - The International journal of engineering education, 2019   Promoting Engineering Persistence Among Women through Alignment of Occupational Values and Perceptions of the Field JM Lakin, EW Davis, VA Davis - American Society for Engineering Education (ASEE) …, 2016  

     My scholar page is https://tinyurl.com/545dk346 and my email is davisva@auburn.edu

     
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    Megan Davis
  • Icon for: Eric Hamilton

    Eric Hamilton

    Higher Ed Faculty
    May 14, 2021 | 01:26 p.m.

    Dear Auburn team, thank you for such a crisp and interesting presentation - there are many insights that you offered about the nature of engineering and the many misconceptions individuals hold about the fields.  This video is a great service, and greatly appreciated.  Thank you.

  • Icon for: Virginia Davis

    Virginia Davis

    Lead Presenter
    Daniel F. and Josephine Breeden Professor
    May 15, 2021 | 08:14 p.m.

    Thank you very much for this compliment!

  • Icon for: Israel Ramirez

    Israel Ramirez

    K-12 Teacher
    May 16, 2021 | 11:15 a.m.

    A very interesting project especially because the project focuses on future generations of engineers. At the same time also interesting for the collaboration of students and their mentors trying to identify better ways to help our civilizations using engineering.

  • Icon for: Megan Davis

    Megan Davis

    Higher Ed Administrator
    May 18, 2021 | 01:16 p.m.

    Beautiful video, great program. I'd love to know more about your schedule, and particularly how you structure the time and messaging when current engineering students talk about their experience with these younger students. The impact of "near-peers" is enormous!

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