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STEM21

Equity in Teaching and Learning to Meet Global Challenges of Standards, Engagement and Transformation

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Edited By Joy Barnes-Johnson and Janelle M. Johnson

STEM21: Equity in Teaching and Learning to Meet Global Challenges of Standards, Engagement and Transformation is designed to contribute to discourses about how STEM teaching and learning can become more equitable, serving the needs of readers across the STEM educational spectrum. STEM21 is meant to problematize the status quo educational practices of STEM stakeholders including preservice and inservice teachers, district leaders, informal educators, policy makers, and the research community. While many books are narrowly targeted either for academics or practitioners, the outcome is limited dialogue between and across those spaces. This volume weaves together field-based research, personal narrative, and education theory, while providing for reflection and discussion. STEM21: Equity in Teaching and Learning to Meet Global Challenges of Standards, Engagement and Transformation is undergirded by the principle that engaged STEM education accommodates theory and practice that is equitable, rejects deficit model thinking, and is community relevant. Equitable STEM pedagogy builds autonomous pathways to learning; creates a culture of questioning and transparency; celebrates diversity of thought, habit and culture; and embraces a social justice stance on issues of race, class, gender, environmental responsibility, health, and access to resources.

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Chapter Six: Promoting Middle School Students’ Motivation and Persistence in an After-School Engineering Program (Srinjita Bhaduri / Alexandra Gendreau / Varsha Srikanth Koushik / Tammy Sumner / John Ristvey / Randy Russell)

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CHAPTER SIX

Promoting Middle School Students’ Motivation and Persistence in an After-School Engineering Program

SRINJITA BHADURI,1 ALEXANDRA GENDREAU,2 VARSHA SRIKANTH KOUSHIK,3 TAMMY SUMNER,4 JOHN RISTVEY,5 AND RANDY RUSSELL6 ← 138 | 139 →



Abstract

Engineering Experiences aims to understand and promote practices that develop students’ motivations and capacities to pursue careers in STEM fields by providing afterschool engineering experiences in atmospheric and related sciences to middle school students. This collaborative project is working with low-income youth and is being implemented in partnership with a local chapter of the I Have A Dream Foundation. The program combines STEM learning with hands-on technology and engineering design activities to prepare students for success in high school STEM courses and the future STEM workforce. This article reports on a semester-long implementation of a curriculum on Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAV) also known as drones. Both qualitative and quantitative data on student engagement, persistence, and competencies in engineering design were collected, including surveys, short writing assignments, interviews and observations. Results indicate the participating youth found the UAV curriculum to be motivating and engaging, and their perspectives on engineering and the role of UAV in science and engineering were broadened and enhanced. However, participating youth had difficulties generalizing their engineering design skills to new design challenges.

Editorial Reflections

During my time in Wyoming, I, Joy, met some amazing youth. Not usually on campus but in the schools served...

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