Abstract

The Partnership, Pathway, and Pipeline for Engineering Education (P 3E2) Project is an exploratory collaboration between ASU Engineering faculty and Santan Junior High School teachers from a broad range of subjects and local community members aimed at engaging middle school students in real world and grade-relevant engineering activities as a way of enriching the value of their STEM education as it relates to STEM careers and their broad societal relevance. Central to the P3E2 project is the introduction of engineering design across the curricula via the implementation of the engineering design process through engineering service-learning projects that are intended to facilitate integrated learning of science, math, social studies and language arts. Such STEM-based integrated activities have been co-developed in partnership with middle school teachers and are designed to engage students and captivate their interest while promoting problem-solving and entrepreneurial skills by addressing real world needs in their local communities. This one-year pilot project consisted of four key phases that were implemented in nearly equal quarters, i.e., (a) the creation of a vibrant partnership to assess, motivate and inform teachers and counselors about engineering and its societal connections, workforce barriers, and curricular relevance, (b) the development of a viable education pathway to successfully engage 8th grade students in the full spectra of STEM-based learning that captivate their interest through integrated activities that span across science, mathematics, language arts and social studies, (c) the implementation of semester-long science and engineering fair projects chosen by students who were mentored by ASU engineering undergraduate and graduate students and (d) the evaluation of the P3E2 program effectiveness using designated assessment tools that were developed and administered to the teachers and students at the middle school. The major findings and the lessons learnt from this P3E2 pilot project were based on assessment tools that included 1) a STEM content and attitude survey for students, 2) the "Draw an Engineer" assessment instrument for students and teachers, 3) a combined survey on Design, Engineering, Technology (DET) and Tinkering self-efficacy for teachers, 4) a mid-year assessment by teachers to determine if the project was meeting its goals, 5) an assessment of students and teachers based on an activity designed from materials included in the magazine "Engineering, Go for It", and 6) a reflection about the project by students and their parents. The overall outcome of the P3E 2 pilot project is that careful incorporation of engineering design into the middle school STEM curricula significantly enhances STEM learning and produces more informed students who are able to make better STEM-related career choices and who are able to better appreciate the societal relevance of engineering. The next step to further the P3E2 project is to address the challenges and opportunities that lay ahead in order to achieve sustainability and scalability.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalASEE Annual Conference and Exposition, Conference Proceedings
StatePublished - 2010

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Engineering(all)

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