Engineering perceptions of female and male K-12 students: effects of a multimedia overview on elementary, middle-, and high-school students

Amy Johnson, Gamze Ozogul, Matt D. DiDonato, Martin Reisslein

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

15 Scopus citations


Computer-based multimedia presentations employing animated agents (avatars) can positively impact perceptions about engineering; the current research advances our understanding of this effect to pre-college populations, the main target for engineering outreach. The study examines the effectiveness of a brief computer-based intervention with animated agents in improving perceptions about engineering. Five hundred sixty-five elementary, middle-, and high-school students in the southwestern USA viewed a short computer-based multimedia overview of four engineering disciplines (electrical, chemical, biomedical, and environmental) with embedded animated agents. Students completed identical surveys measuring five subscales of engineering perceptions immediately before and after the intervention. Analyses of pre- and post-surveys demonstrated that the computer presentation significantly improved perceptions for each student group, and that effects were stronger for elementary school students, compared to middle- and high-school students.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)519-531
Number of pages13
JournalEuropean Journal of Engineering Education
Issue number5
StatePublished - Oct 1 2013



  • avatar
  • engineering perceptions
  • engineering stereotypes
  • multimedia programme
  • overview of engineering fields
  • pre-college K-12 students

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Education
  • Engineering(all)

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