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1.
Journal of Pre-College Engineering Education Research ; 12(2):166-186, 2022.
Article in English | Scopus | ID: covidwho-2297010

ABSTRACT

This study investigated the teaching experiences of three school personnel at a public high school during the 2020–2021 school year as they implemented a unique science, technology, engineering, arts, and math (STEAM) unit with in-person and virtual students in their engineering classes during the Covid-19 pandemic. A research team interviewed two teachers and one administrator at the school to better understand the nuances of pre-college engineering during a pandemic year and how changes in school and district policy affected the instructional delivery of STEAM projects. Narrative analytic methods were utilized to understand each participant's experience and an inductive content thematic approach was used to develop the findings. The participants described varied experiences navigating instruction during the pandemic, particularly when adapting hands-on STEAM projects for virtual or hybrid teaching. All three participants thought deeply about how to best meet the needs of students while attempting to support equitable instruction. The findings of this study indicate that pre-college engineering in the pandemic was challenging for the participants, but not impossible, and that this setting was an appropriate context for STEAM projects that provided students with a mechanism for collaboration and engagement. © 2022, Purdue University Press. All rights reserved.

2.
Journal of Pre-College Engineering Education Research ; 12(2):89-107, 2022.
Article in English | Scopus | ID: covidwho-2267917

ABSTRACT

The societal disruptions due to the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic are well noted, especially in the context of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) education. Absent a concerted effort to sustain hands-on learning opportunities in STEM amid the crisis, the consequences of COVID-19 may exacerbate existing inequities and racial disparities among youth of color further stratifying the STEM fields. In the current study, we applied a mixed-method descriptive case study design, using online learning theory and culturally responsive pedagogy as our conceptual framework, to describe how participants experienced this camp, held online due to disruptions of COVID-19, in the southeastern region of the USA. We also share findings from the implementation of a justice bots project, which enabled participants to connect social justice and engineering. Participants included middle school youth, undergraduate engineering students, and in-service math and science teachers. Data sources entailed focus groups, pre-post surveys, observations, and artifacts. Our results indicated that participants experienced gains in their communication skills, positive changes in attitudes toward STEM for middle school youth, established meaningful connections, and enhanced their technical knowledge. Middle school youth reported enjoying the online summer camp environment, though they had experienced more than a year of education online. Undergraduate engineering students asserted that it was challenging to communicate coding and other technical knowledge virtually but having to do so strengthened their capacity to teach others while honing their own competencies. Lastly, in-service math and science teachers reported a better understanding of the connection between engineering and social justice based on their experiences in the camp. We conclude this article with implications for engineering education. © 2022, Purdue University Press. All rights reserved.

3.
2022 Collaborative Network for Engineering and Computing Diversity, CoNECD 2022 ; 2022.
Article in English | Scopus | ID: covidwho-2011812

ABSTRACT

Developing and implementing programming for pre-college and undergraduate racially and ethnically diverse (RED) students and faculty is an integral part of higher education, as it provides experiences and educational enrichment not often found in classrooms. For many practitioners, developing such programs includes tasks such as contacting speakers, securing classrooms, and arranging interactive activities to ensure a great student experience. Not on the task list: "hosting a virtual program in case of a global pandemic." As news circulated regarding the COVID-19 pandemic, schools and universities around the world took drastic measures to curtail the spread of the virus. Nearly 1,100 colleges and universities in the United States closed their campuses with only days' notice to faculty, staff, and students. COVID-19 caused the cancellation of in-person events and programs, while others quickly transitioned online. The transition online was not only a challenge to the program participants, but also to the practitioners implementing virtual educational programs. Many variables had to be considered to deliver impactful virtual instruction, such as applicable technology, accessibility, and the use of live or pre-recorded content. Moreover, creating equitable and impactful virtual programming that served racial, ethnic, and linguistically diverse individuals required the use of unique programming methods and techniques. © 2022 American Society for Engineering Education.

4.
11th IEEE Integrated STEM Education Conference, ISEC 2021 ; : 296-300, 2021.
Article in English | Scopus | ID: covidwho-1861129

ABSTRACT

This paper presents the experience of the author from a virtual computer engineering summer camp in the era of the COVID-19 Pandemic. The target audience for this pre-college summer camp was high school students. Even though the university had a long history of offering on-campus day and residential summer camp programs in several areas, the camp that was offered in the summer of 2020 was the first of its kind for being offered completely in virtual mode. To keep the participants engaged in the program, the camp material was designed to include a great deal of hands on activities involving electronics, microcontrollers, sensors, and robotic kits, as well as programming. This paper presents the structure of the program, description of the content delivered, and reports on results of the survey completed by the participants to assess the effectiveness of the program. Based on the survey results we conclude that the program turned out to be successful with 92.3% of the survey respondents reporting that the virtual camp has satisfied their initial expectations and 100% of them reporting that they would recommend the camp to others. © 2021 IEEE.

5.
ASME 2021 International Mechanical Engineering Congress and Exposition, IMECE 2021 ; 9, 2021.
Article in English | Scopus | ID: covidwho-1706424

ABSTRACT

In recent years, pre-college educational programs have been introduced to increase the interest and supply of skillful people to work in STEM fields. While the emphasis has previously been primarily focused on the content of project-based learning programs, another factor that needs to be accounted for is the accessibility of the said programs. Unprecedented issues such as the sudden closure of educational facilities, as was experienced during the COVID-19 pandemic, should not hinder the learning opportunities that the students are after. Therefore, the shift from hosting conventional STEM programs to online platforms has become a crucial element in the expansion of STEM education. Delivering engineering-based projects through online STEM programs to school students includes wide expansion of the participating audience – which is not confined by the capacity limit of in-person programs – as well as ease of access. This has value not only on the individual level but also at the social level. Three successful e-STEM (electronic STEM) programs are presented in this paper that are designed to support and enhance students’ learning of engineering concepts while also increasing students’ understanding of real-life applications. This has a close connection to the desire to increase online education in developing countries over recent years. The first program is called Innovate, Design and Engineer an App (IDEA). In this program, the students explore the fundamentals of programming and mobile app development. This provides the students with the foundation of coding, algorithms, and refining their ideas to produce a working mobile phone app that is created to meet a specified challenge. The second program is called Creative Fusion and Innovation (CFI). In this program, the students learned the basics of creating, editing, and analyzing their 3D designs;recognize the importance of creating 3D models in engineering;and understand how 3D printing works as they create their own 3D models. The third program is called Virtual Robotics Games (VRG). In this program, the students learn the fundamentals of designing, building, programming, and testing robots in a virtual environment. Through this program, the students learn the basics of robot design in addition to coding and simulation, which are all necessary tools for aspiring engineers. These programs aim to provide STEM education access to build communities specifically in engineering, which is in high demand. Throughout these programs, the students are able to learn important computer skills and the concepts of the engineering design process. The programs also equip them with the required knowledge and problem-solving skills to tackle challenges. At the end of each program, the students will have created successful designs as solutions to the real-life problems that they were tasked with. In this paper, the details behind the planning, formation and production, and implementation of the three online programs are presented. Copyright © 2021 by ASME

6.
2021 ASEE Virtual Annual Conference, ASEE 2021 ; 2021.
Article in English | Scopus | ID: covidwho-1696436

ABSTRACT

As part of an ongoing initiative to recruit students to the Computer Science and Information Technology degree programs at Southeastern Louisiana University, a summer coding day camp was formed beginning in the summer of 2019 through a grant with Louisiana Economic Development Fast Start. The 2019 camp was a two-week on-campus experience. In the success of the first year, expansion, to include a satellite campus, was planned for year two. This was never realized due to COVID-19. The summer 2020 delivery and curriculum was redesigned two short months before delivery. The decision was made to offer a much abbreviated online version of the camp, while maintaining the maximum capacity. Through a partnership with cyber.org, curriculum was selected and a virtual capture-the-flag was offered. The capture-the-flag competition served to promote participation in the recruitment activities. Through the use of pre and post tests, data was collected as to familiarity with the university, the Department of Computer Science degree offerings, job opportunities in the field, and intention to attend college. Additionally, student surveys were administered to collect demographic information. This paper details the experience of offering a virtual summer coding camp and explores both the challenges and opportunities that were encountered. Details into the specifics of how the camp was administered and recruiting activities are presented as are the results of the survey findings. It is concluded that the experience was a success, reaching maximum enrollment within 48 hours and achieving a wait-list of over 80. Of the students enrolled in the camp, women and minorities represented 50% of the students and the 80% of the students reported that their expectations were met or exceeded. © American Society for Engineering Education, 2021

7.
2021 ASEE Virtual Annual Conference, ASEE 2021 ; 2021.
Article in English | Scopus | ID: covidwho-1696435

ABSTRACT

In addition to being an employment requirement for in-service high school educators, professional development (PD) workshops in STEM fields are vital for keeping up with new innovations in both theory and practice. Integrating cross-cutting engineering concepts into a PD STEM program provides a unique opportunity for both teachers and students. Students gain a deeper understanding of individual concepts and the relationship among the components of STEM. Teachers benefit from demonstration of how this integration of concepts can be practically carried out in their classrooms. The goals of the PD institute were to 1) integrate industrial technology, engineering technology and computer science constructs into core math and science high school curriculum (Physical Science, Biology, Chemistry and Physics);2) advance teacher knowledge in the core science subjects with emphasis on misconceptions;3) introduce/reinforce the engineering design process;and 4) due to COVID-19 constraints, to introduce teachers to online simulation platforms for at-home and in-class discovery of scientific concepts. Delivered as a six-day workshop in Summer 2020, the PD institute continued throughout the school year to offer continued support and form a Professional Learning Community (PLC). Due to restrictions from COVID-19, the entire workshop was delivered virtually and instruction was offered to assist with remote delivery of classes and science labs in the upcoming school year. The program covers multidisciplinary engineering science and education technology topics including misconceptions in physical science, misconceptions in biological science, visual programming, CAD and 3D printing, electrical circuit simulation, and overview of online teaching technologies. In addition to instruction and continuing education credit, the teachers received classroom materials to support them in delivering these STEM contents in their schools including a 3D printer for each participating school. This paper represents the current work in progress as part of a comprehensive initiative, which also includes a ten-day summer program for high school students, to serve diverse students and educators from underrepresented communities. © American Society for Engineering Education, 2021

8.
2021 ASEE Virtual Annual Conference, ASEE 2021 ; 2021.
Article in English | Scopus | ID: covidwho-1696323

ABSTRACT

The experience of delivering a STEM focused summer program to pre-college students is not novel, however, in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, the choice to offer such a program virtually to a diverse underrepresented population of 9-12th graders in rural Louisiana posed a great opportunity to reach an otherwise underserved segment of the population. This however is not without unique challenges. The ten-day summer program included applications of engineering principles across disciplines in a virtual setting. The program consisted of 8 different modules as daily themed mini-camps covering the areas of mechatronics, CAD & 3D printing, cyber security, biological sciences, physical science, architectural design, environmental engineering, and chemical engineering. Through several hands-on activities and interactive simulations, students practiced many engineering concepts including the engineering design process, drafting and 3D modeling, energy conversions, sustainability and clean energy, microcontroller coding, and internet security. This program was one segment of a comprehensive on-going initiative to serve students and educators from underrepresented communities which also includes a professional development program for in-service STEM educators. The program for educators is ongoing and is designed to provide them with the tools and experiences that are necessary to offer continued support and specific instruction to their students at their local schools. This paper will serve as an investigation of such a program and detail both the delivery and specific challenges encountered as well as discuss the solutions that were implemented and lessons learned. © American Society for Engineering Education, 2021

9.
2021 ASEE Virtual Annual Conference, ASEE 2021 ; 2021.
Article in English | Scopus | ID: covidwho-1696135

ABSTRACT

The experience of delivering a STEM focused summer program to pre-college students is not novel, however, in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, the choice to offer such a program virtually to a diverse underrepresented population of 9-12th graders in rural Louisiana posed a great opportunity to reach an otherwise underserved segment of the population. This however is not without unique challenges. The ten-day summer program included applications of engineering principles across disciplines in a virtual setting. The program consisted of 8 different modules as daily themed mini-camps covering the areas of mechatronics, CAD & 3D printing, cyber security, biological sciences, physical science, architectural design, environmental engineering, and chemical engineering. Through several hands-on activities and interactive simulations, students practiced many engineering concepts including the engineering design process, drafting and 3D modeling, energy conversions, sustainability and clean energy, microcontroller coding, and internet security. This program was one segment of a comprehensive on-going initiative to serve students and educators from underrepresented communities which also includes a professional development program for in-service STEM educators. The program for educators is ongoing and is designed to provide them with the tools and experiences that are necessary to offer continued support and specific instruction to their students at their local schools. This paper will serve as an investigation of such a program and detail both the delivery and specific challenges encountered as well as discuss the solutions that were implemented and lessons learned. © American Society for Engineering Education, 2021

10.
2021 ASEE Virtual Annual Conference, ASEE 2021 ; 2021.
Article in English | Scopus | ID: covidwho-1696008

ABSTRACT

People of color are underrepresented in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics disciplines (STEM). The number is even smaller for women of color who enter into STEM fields. Based on current projections, it is estimated that by the year 2044, underrepresented minorities (Black, Hispanic, LatinX and American Indian) will comprise over 50% of the overall population in the U.S. However, underrepresented minority (URM) youth lag significantly behind their white and Asian American counterparts in their interest in STEM. Lower representation of URMs in STEM can be attributed to a variety of factors including, a lack of institutional commitment, a lack of representation throughout students' upbringing, ineffective cultural recruitment/outreach efforts, educational discrepancies throughout PK-12, and social expectations, among others. A large portion of government efforts to address this problem focuses on initiatives and training to overcome negative perceptions and attitudes towards STEM and entice more URM youth into STEM pathways. For the United States to maintain a competitive position in innovation and technology, the disparity must be reduced. The Women of Color Summer Engineering Camp (WOCSEC) was developed to address the disparity. The camp was composed of six outreach components to provide engaging, critical thinking and uplifting experiences for all its participants. The components include: Engineer Spotlight Interview;Engineering Design Challenge;Empowerment Session;Design Lab;Interactive Forum and Panel;and College Readiness. Due to Covid-19 the camp was transformed from an in-person face to face experience to a virtual experience. Online learning is an effective method of instruction, provided that devices and technology platforms are accessible and screen time is monitored and limited. WOCSEC includes workshops for standardized testing, the college application process, scholarship resources, shadowing opportunities, summer internships and the required high school courses required of most collegiate engineering programs. Students were given a pre-survey the first day of the camp to assess their attitudes and perceptions towards entering STEM fields. In an effort to measure student's change in perception, students completed a post survey. In addition to the pre-post survey, a semi-annual quantitative and qualitative inquiry tool will be administered to camp participants throughout high school to measure their interest in engineering, intent to major in STEM and overall college readiness. In this paper we will describe how the program was implemented, the experience of the participants and share the data from the pre-post survey. © American Society for Engineering Education, 2021

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