1. Jennifer Kidd
  2. Master Lecturer
  3. Ed+gineering Partnerships
  4. Old Dominion University
  1. Lilian Almeida
  2. Post Doctoral Research Associate
  3. Ed+gineering Partnerships
  4. Old Dominion University
  1. Orlando Ayala
  2. https://www.odu.edu/directory/people/o/oayala
  3. Associate Professor
  4. Ed+gineering Partnerships
  5. Old Dominion University
  1. KRISTIE GUTIERREZ
  2. https://www.odu.edu/directory/people/k/kgutierr
  3. Assistant Professor
  4. Ed+gineering Partnerships
  5. Old Dominion University
  1. Krishna Kaipa
  2. https://www.odu.edu/~kkaipa
  3. Assistant Professor
  4. Ed+gineering Partnerships
  5. Old Dominion University
  1. Pilar Pazos
  2. https://www.odu.edu/directory/people/m/mpazosla
  3. Associate Professor
  4. Ed+gineering Partnerships
  5. Old Dominion University
  1. Stacie Ringleb
  2. Associate Professor
  3. Ed+gineering Partnerships
  4. Old Dominion University
Public Discussion
  • Icon for: Jennifer Kidd

    Jennifer Kidd

    Lead Presenter
    Master Lecturer
    May 4, 2020 | 03:05 p.m.

    Thank you for watching our video! My seventeen-year-old son, who is studying filmmaking, was my primary editor. You might have noticed that he spiced up our footage with some scenes he thought would have broad appeal! I thought he might be on to something, equating educators and engineers with superheroes.

    Working as a team of two education faculty and four engineering faculty on our NSF project, Ed+gineering, we've learned that there are considerable benefits and challenges to partnering students (and faculty) from education and engineering. 

    Benefits

    *Our education students are gaining confidence and competence with engineering, something they need in order to integrate engineering standards into core content areas.


    *Our engineering students are gaining valuable practice collaborating with people outside their discipline. We hope they are learning to value the perspectives of non-technical audiences. The ability to empathize, compromise, and communicate effectively within professionally and demographically diverse groups can help prepare them to address complex problems and develop innovative solutions that appeal to a broad audience.

    Challenges

    *Many of the undergraduates tended to stick to their comfort zones: engineering students explained concepts and education students structured activities and engaged the children. We are searching for strategies that nudge the students outside their comfort zones while still providing learning experiences the students find valuable. 

    *While education students gained confidence, many reported not feeling confident enough to lead activities on their own.  Finding the balance between collaboration and dependency is tricky.

    *Quite frequently engineering students do not report gaining engineering knowledge from the project. Collaboration and communication skills are clearly valued in the industry, but not all engineering students appreciate the practice they are gaining. We are searching for the best ways to communicate this. We've also struggled to define and measure "engineering knowledge".

    We are also curious whether education and engineering faculty at other schools would consider working together or partnering their students. 

    Our questions for you are below. We'd love to hear your thoughts on any or all!

    1. How have you measured engineering knowledge? (or engineering practices)

    2. Do you think there is any possibility of partnering education and engineering faculty and students at your institution? What would it take for this to happen?

    3. Do you have suggestions for challenging education and engineering students to reach beyond their comfort zones?

    4. How can we help engineering students value the work and expertise of eduction students, and the practice of collaborating with educators?

    Thank you again for visiting our presentation!

     

  • Icon for: Alan Peterfreund

    Alan Peterfreund

    Facilitator
    May 4, 2020 | 05:38 p.m.

    Jennifer and team - this is a fascinating project.  How were the students engaged? Through a for credit course or some other means?

  • Icon for: Jennifer Kidd

    Jennifer Kidd

    Lead Presenter
    Master Lecturer
    May 4, 2020 | 05:41 p.m.

    Hi Alan,

    Thank you! Yes, all the students were enrolled in courses (mostly required) and the project was integrated into their assignments. 

  • Icon for: Shellie Banfield

    Shellie Banfield

    Higher Ed Administrator
    May 5, 2020 | 08:00 a.m.

    Wow.... great collaboration! Was this a summer camp? Classroom exercise? Science Fair project? How did this play out in the elementary school classroom?

  • Icon for: Jennifer Kidd

    Jennifer Kidd

    Lead Presenter
    Master Lecturer
    May 5, 2020 | 10:41 a.m.

    Thanks for your great question, Shellie!

    We had two models for our collaborations. In the first model, elementary students (4th or 5th graders) came to our university (ODU) for an Engineering Day field trip. Our small teams of education and engineering students taught one hour lessons to approximately 10-12 elementary students. In the second model, our education and engineering students went out to the schools for an after school technology club for 5th graders. My education students ran the club for its entirety (10 weeks) leading a variety of tech activities. The engineering students joined us for three clubs sessions that focused on robotics. 

    In both cases, the education and engineering students engaged in activities together before their lessons with the elementary students in order to prepare for their experiences.

    Both collaboration models have been pretty successful and the elementary students have responded well (or at least they've been signing up for more!)

     

  • Icon for: Patricia Halpin

    Patricia Halpin

    Higher Ed Faculty
    May 5, 2020 | 09:44 a.m.

    Great job. How much time did you get in the elementary school classroom? How many sessions?

  • Icon for: Jennifer Kidd

    Jennifer Kidd

    Lead Presenter
    Master Lecturer
    May 5, 2020 | 10:44 a.m.

    Thanks for your question, Patricia!

    We had two models for our collaborations. In the first model, elementary students (4th or 5th graders) came to our university (ODU) for an Engineering Day field trip. Our small teams of education and engineering students taught one hour lessons to approximately 10-12 elementary students. In the second model, our education and engineering students went out to the schools for an after school technology club for 5th graders. My education students ran the club for its entirety (10 weeks) leading a variety of tech activities. The engineering students joined us for three clubs sessions that focused on robotics. All the club sessions were two hours long, but in some cases the engineering students only stayed for about 75 minutes.

    In both cases, the education and engineering students engaged in activities together before their lessons with the elementary students in order to prepare for their experiences.

  • Icon for: Cheryl Canova

    Cheryl Canova

    Higher Ed Administrator
    May 5, 2020 | 10:44 a.m.

    Great job. Was this part of the school's curriculum?   How were supplies for the projects funded? How much time was allotted for each class?

  • Icon for: Jennifer Kidd

    Jennifer Kidd

    Lead Presenter
    Master Lecturer
    May 5, 2020 | 10:54 a.m.

    Hi Cheryl,

    Thanks for your question. Engineering and computer science standards have recently been added to Virginia's SOLs so  we are working to prepare our preservice teachers to be ready to integrate these subjects into their core classes. Right now most schools districts in our area (Norfolk, VA) are just beginning to introduce engineering and coding at the elementary level. So, no, it wasn't part of the school's curriculum, although we tried to tie our activities to the state standards. 

    Our supplies were all funded through the NSF grant - which definitely came in handy when buying robotics kits!!

    We had two models for our collaborations. In the first model, elementary students (4th or 5th graders) came to our university (ODU) for an Engineering Day field trip. Our small teams of education and engineering students taught one hour lessons to approximately 10-12 elementary students. In the second model, our education and engineering students went out to the schools for an after school technology club for 5th graders. My education students ran the club for its entirety (10 weeks) leading a variety of tech activities. The engineering students joined us for three clubs sessions that focused on robotics. All the club sessions were two hours long, but in some cases the engineering students only stayed for about 75 minutes.

  • Small default profile

    Michelle Callaway

    K-12 Teacher
    May 8, 2020 | 03:02 p.m.

    Hi Jennifer, 

    I am a STEM teacher in Massachusetts, so I address the Science and Engineering/Technology state standards during my specialist class. I'm interested to learn more about how Virginia is planning to have teachers address the Engineering and computer science standards in their core classes. Do you think that the model of STEM as a specialist subject will continue? From your project, it seems that you are preparing teachers to address these SOLs in all settings. 

  • Icon for: Jennifer Kidd

    Jennifer Kidd

    Lead Presenter
    Master Lecturer
    May 8, 2020 | 03:53 p.m.

    Hi Michelle,

    Your question is one I also have. I frequently ask administrators how they are planning to address these new standards. I rarely hear a concrete plan. I'm going to ask my colleague Kristie to chime in here too. But, from what I can see, and with efforts like Code VA, which is training teachers to bring CS into the core classes, I think the responsibility is going to fall to regular classroom teachers. This worries me because I know most preK-6 teachers feel very uncomfortable with this expectation and as a result, I see teachers sending kids off to a website, in the best case scenario, and completely neglecting these subjects as the worst case.  I am hoping our project can help prevent that by helping preservice teachers feel confident and capable in both engineering and CS, but we definitely have our work cut out for us.

    One part of our project that hasn't started yet is a PD summer session for our grads once they've completed a year of teaching. We're going to pay them (and a teacher buddy of their choice) to come back for a one-day summer workshop to continue their skills in engineering. In addition to the stipend, we'll also give them free supplies and corresponding lesson plans. I'll be interested to see how many takers we get! 

  • Icon for: Michelle Callaway

    Michelle Callaway

    K-12 Teacher
    May 10, 2020 | 03:42 p.m.

    Hi Jennifer, 

    Great idea to offer a PD summer session! I would have loved that support after my first year. 

    I also worry about the STEM standards falling completely onto classroom teachers. They already have so many other standards groups to address, and with the pressures of state testing, engineering and CS often fall behind. The specialist model is useful in providing a more targeted opportunity to address STEM concepts, but as with all teaching, time is still limited. Troubleshooting and best efforts is all we can do! 

    Thanks again for your thoughtful work, 

    Michelle 

  • Icon for: KRISTIE GUTIERREZ

    KRISTIE GUTIERREZ

    Co-Presenter
    May 11, 2020 | 09:53 a.m.

    Good morning Michelle,

    Elementary educators are stretched thin and are asked to be the experts in so many different subject areas.  I am not sure what the best answer to this problem is.  I know that in our state, Virginia, the state mandated science standards have recently changed and now include engineering standards like NGSS. While there is a subset of inservice elementary educators who have been integrating engineering into their instruction already, for many, this addition alone will be problematic. That is one reason we decided to implement the "bring a buddy" to PD once our preservice teachers get into their own classrooms. This will at least begin to spread the wealth of understanding with teachers who have not been in the college classroom recently. We are trying to ensure that our graduates are well-equipped to integrate engineering challenges in their future classrooms and to help their students begin to think "like engineers" through the engineering design process.

    Relatedly, I am working on another NSF (Computer Science for All) project where we are working with a local school division to design a computer science professional development experience for inservice elementary educators (https://www.inclusivecomputerscience.org/https://videohall.com/p/1453). The year-long professional development is being  specifically designed to help these educators integrate the new VA Computer Science Standards for Learning into their traditional subject area instruction to meet the needs of all learners in inclusive classrooms.  This is a partnership between Old Dominion University, George Mason University, Code VA, and our local school division. In this way, we are striving to help classroom teachers learn how to integrate computer science into their daily instruction through unplugged and plugged computational thinking lessons. Thus, generally speaking, we are preparing elementary educators to be able to integrate engineering and computer science into their traditional classroom instruction; however, this effort would just be strengthened and enhanced through the support of STEM specialists at school sites where available.

    -Kristie

  • Icon for: Patrick Honner

    Patrick Honner

    Facilitator
    May 5, 2020 | 02:42 p.m.

    What a great collaboration. I can see the value in this for the education students: What brings the engineering students to this project? Is this officially part of their undergraduate program, or are these particular students looking for education and outreach opportunities themselves?

  • Icon for: Orlando Ayala

    Orlando Ayala

    Co-Presenter
    May 5, 2020 | 04:01 p.m.

    Hello Patrick,

    Thanks for your comments and questions. I am one of the engineering professors in the project. I use my Fluid Mechanics class in it and the interdisciplinary collaboration of our students is an integral part of the course. It happens similarly to the other classes in the project.

    Let me also tell you why I do believe in this project. I have 3 reasons. 1) My students learn how to work with peers from other fields and learn how to communicate with them. Thus, this goes beyond the mere group work skills, they need to learn how to put technical concepts in simple terms. 2) The fact that they have to explain fluid mechanics concepts to others (education students and elementary school students), helps them to go deeper into their own understanding of those concepts. "Teaching is learning twice." 3) You never know which of your students end up in an academic career, this project helps them to have a flavor of this field. Also, they might end up in outreach activities in their companies.

     
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    Patrick Honner
  • Icon for: Patrick Honner

    Patrick Honner

    Facilitator
    May 5, 2020 | 05:05 p.m.

    Thanks for the reply. I can see the value in all the things you mentioned, Orlando. I was wondering if the students themselves saw the value, and I guess they do because you personally communicate it to them!

  • Icon for: Orlando Ayala

    Orlando Ayala

    Co-Presenter
    May 5, 2020 | 05:16 p.m.

    Very good point. We have surveys, reflections, and focus groups. The results indicate that they do see the value. As with anything in life, you will see a few of them "not drinking the Cool-Aid".

  • Icon for: Jennifer Kidd

    Jennifer Kidd

    Lead Presenter
    Master Lecturer
    May 5, 2020 | 06:19 p.m.

    I just finished conducting a focus group interview with Orlando's students today and I think he's got them all drinking the cool-aid. They all told me how they learned from teaching the material - how it made them go back to check and make sure they had all their concepts straight before passing the information on to their education and elementary school partners!

     
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    Patrick Honner
  • Icon for: Orlando Ayala

    Orlando Ayala

    Co-Presenter
    May 5, 2020 | 07:52 p.m.

    I am really looking forward to hearing what my students said! One point I forgot to mention is that, as it often happens with some students, those who do "not drinking the Cool-Aid" during their undergraduate education typically end up drinking it after getting into the job field. It is just a matter of time for those few.

  • May 5, 2020 | 05:25 p.m.

    Interesting work! I am interested in the reflections that the education and engineering students expressed in the about how participating in this program affected them. Is there a component of this project that looks in a systematic way at these potential impacts?

  • Icon for: Jennifer Kidd

    Jennifer Kidd

    Lead Presenter
    Master Lecturer
    May 5, 2020 | 07:29 p.m.

    HI Catherine, Thanks for your question. Yes, we have a qualitative component to our research where we are analyzing all the students' refections as well as focus group interviews. Our postdoc, Dr. Lilian Almeida, has been analyzing a slew of data over the past month and will respond here too. We've been learning that interdisciplinary teamwork  (and just regular teamwork!) is challenging for many groups, although we have a great of scaffolding in place to support the students' collaboration, including custom built google sites. Inevitably, students have different levels of investment. Nevertheless, students are clearly learning from these team-based experiences, including learning how to deal with a team member who does not pull his weight. The great majority of our students report positive experiences. Working with the elementary students is almost always listed as a highlight! 

  • Icon for: Lilian Almeida

    Lilian Almeida

    Co-Presenter
    May 5, 2020 | 10:10 p.m.

    Hello Catherine. Students have identified many benefits through their participation in this project. Education students in general enjoy learning about engineering, coding, the engineering design process, and science concepts, as well as the opportunity to have a hands-on experience while teaching the children. Engineering students acknowledged the importance of developing communication skills with non-technical audiences, teamwork skills, and service learning. Both education and engineering students indicated learning with each other new beneficial skills. They recounted the enjoyment of working with kids and somehow inspire them to become engineers!

  • May 6, 2020 | 03:43 p.m.

    Great video and a great job in applying such a fundamental corroboration between two groups that can really benefit from one another. At my institution, I often help coordinate outreach events for my engineering students to the local schools. I think teaming with Education students is a great idea and will be something I pursue in the future. I was going to ask about the challenges, but your introduction did a great job of detailing those. In terms of your question about getting engineering students to see the value in the expertise of education students, I would commiserate with you and tell you it's just not seeing the value in areas outside engineering. For example, I teach in the area of aerodynamics and I will often provide some type of programming work. I will sometimes get responses such as, "have the computer scientist write the program." My response is to highlight the successes of engineers and scientists with diverse skill sets and abilities. I usually turn this into a general discussion on diversity and inclusivity (hence the project I'm on). But, I think eventually students come to realize they need more than just physics and math to become a valued engineer.

  • Icon for: Jennifer Kidd

    Jennifer Kidd

    Lead Presenter
    Master Lecturer
    May 6, 2020 | 05:48 p.m.

    Hi Christopher, I wanted to chime in with something I shared with my team this morning. I was listening to All Things Considered a few days ago and they had an episode on Design Thinking. They shared the story of Doug Dietz of GE Healthcare, and how he transformed MRI machines into kid friendly adventures. Evidently Doug had been feeling pretty proud of his design of a new MRI machine until he witnessed first hand how scared children were to get inside it and learned that many of them had to be sedated. After seeing that, he spent time talking with children, and with their help, redesigned the machine to incorporate adventures that integrated some of the machine's functioning into the story lines: 

    "the MRI is a cylindrical spaceship transporting the patient into a space adventure. Just before the whirring and banging of the machine gets louder, the operator encourages young patients to listen closely for the moment that the craft “shifts into hyperdrive.” This reframing transforms a normally terrifying “BOOMBOOM-BOOM” sound into just another part of the adventure."

    This strategy of human-centered design, or design thinking, or focusing on developing empathy for the user-- whatever you want to call -- is a really powerful strategy for engineers to develop better solutions --exactly the message your project seems to be aiming for. I'm thinking of sharing this story with our engineer (and education) students next semester. Maybe it will convince a few more of them of the value of diverse perspectives. 

  • Icon for: Nathan Auck

    Nathan Auck

    Facilitator
    May 6, 2020 | 05:50 p.m.

    Collaborative ability is one of those 21st century skills that is so commonly talked about today as an outcome for K-12 students that is necessary for their future success, it’s great to see that process continue with innovative content integration in the post-secondary world! 

    I love what you mentioned above regarding the benefits that the engineering students get from this process. I’m wondering about the need to constrain your class sizes to productively support students in being successful in this collaboration or if you can pursue it with the same numbers of students your were serving before it was established?

  • Icon for: Orlando Ayala

    Orlando Ayala

    Co-Presenter
    May 6, 2020 | 07:35 p.m.

    That is a great question. We have three types of collaborations. The one I am involved with is collaboration 3. In this one, we use my "Fluid Mechanics" class (for engineering students) and my colleague's (Dr. Gutierrez) "Developing Instructional Strategies" class (for education students). The enrollment in my class has been about 30 students and in her class, there have been up to 15 students. We typically have about 7 groups and we have been able to handle them well while making sure we support them along with the project. We have not had the need to constrain the number of students and we feel fine about the workload. If you ask me to project how many more teams (of similar size) we can handle, I would say about 10. More than that could be too much.

    I will let my other colleagues give their opinion from the other collaborations' perspectives.

     
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    Nathan Auck
  • Icon for: Krishna Kaipa

    Krishna Kaipa

    Co-Presenter
    May 6, 2020 | 08:19 p.m.

    Hi Nathan,

    Great question. Let me chime in and add to my colleague Dr. Ayala's response. Dr. Kidd and I are involved with the second collaboration, where education students from Dr. Kidd's "Educational Technology" Course partner with engineering students from one of my two courses "Bio-inspired Robotics" or "Electromechanical systems" to develop robotics lesson plans geared toward building animal-inspired robots, and teach the developed lessons to 5th graders in an after-school session at a local school. The team sizes have been mainly dictated by the number of enrollments every semester, which is anywhere between 10 to 20 in each of our classes. We usually pair one education student with one engineering student, so we end up having 10 to 20 teams. Since our collaboration model involves lot of hands-on robot building activity using hummingbird robotics kits, spanning over multiple meeting times, the sizes are also driven by how many TAs we have helping the instructors in managing all these activities. 

     
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    Nathan Auck
  • Small default profile

    Kimberly Moore

    K-12 Teacher
    May 7, 2020 | 12:00 p.m.

    This is awesome! The enthusiasm and interest that was sparked was extremely evident. It was a learning opportunity for both the groups. I loved the incorporation of the movie! Looking forward to future activities. 

     
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    Stacie Ringleb
  • Small default profile

    Kimberly Moore

    K-12 Teacher
    May 7, 2020 | 12:00 p.m.

    This is awesome! The enthusiasm and interest that was sparked was extremely evident. It was a learning opportunity for both the groups. I loved the incorporation of the movie! Looking forward to future activities. 

  • Icon for: KRISTIE GUTIERREZ

    KRISTIE GUTIERREZ

    Co-Presenter
    May 7, 2020 | 02:02 p.m.

    Hi Kim, it is great to hear from you...we're glad you enjoyed the video! Thanks for your continued support of the project.  We love hosting students from your school and look forward to being able to get your students back on campus next year! (Fingers crossed!)

  • Icon for: Greg Banks

    Greg Banks

    K-12 Teacher
    May 7, 2020 | 01:35 p.m.

    Fantastic project...as you said, there is nothing like having to (co-) teach something to get you to learn it yourself.  I have a question and a comment. 

    Question: How did you determine your prep/planning time and routine for the teams?  As any co-teaching pair will tell you, you cannot effectively co-teach a class without sufficient planning time.  This also requires navigation of roles & responsibilities (explicitly or implicitly).  How were pairs brought into the planning process to achieve the ends of the program?

    Comment: Speaking to your question #3 above about getting both the Ed and Engineering students to push their comfort zones...What if you had the pair swap roles, even for one class? (This would apply more to the 10-week program)  Collaborators can fall into their areas of strength, but if an integral item of the 'criteria for success' for project participants was to fully play the entirety of the co-teacher's role in one or more classes, that might set the stage for pushing comfort zones.  It would be doing so in a supportive way, in that the person first gets to see the 'expert' perform, and even when performing the novel role themselves they would have the 'expert' present for support and questions.  

  • Icon for: KRISTIE GUTIERREZ

    KRISTIE GUTIERREZ

    Co-Presenter
    May 7, 2020 | 02:45 p.m.

    Hi Greg!  In our third collaboration, the engineering students in Dr. Ayala's fluid mechanics course were partnered with my students in an elementary science methods course.  In our collaboration we never actually co-taught the classes together.  We organized our classes on campus so that they were offered during the same day/time and they were held in neighboring classrooms.  This allowed for our students to interact more often and break down the barrier of physical proximity to meeting. Dr. Ayala and I met weekly before class to develop course materials and to ensure that the messages we conveyed to our students were consistent.  Additionally, there were times throughout the semester when our student teams were working together and I would supervise and assist some of the interdisciplinary teams of our students, while Dr. Ayala did the same in his classroom.  Our students, Dr. Ayala, and I also visited our local 4th grade student classrooms early in the semester to introduce engineering and fluid mechanics concepts, and to help our students begin to build relationships with the 4th grade students they'd be teaching. On this trip, Dr. Ayala and I split up and both of us supervised half of the student teams at the two elementary school sites. Due to the physical school closures this semester, the 4th grade students were unable to come to ODU on the planned field trip. However, we still helped facilitate student teams to create interactive presentations for virtual distribution to their "assigned" 4th grade classes. Overall, we felt like it was essential for our students to see a united front and to get clear messages for both of our classes through consistent communication.

  • Icon for: Krishna Kaipa

    Krishna Kaipa

    Co-Presenter
    May 7, 2020 | 03:03 p.m.

    Hi Greg,

    Not sure if my earlier response reached you as I posted as a separate message instead of replying to your message, so I am posting it here again--

    Great questions.  There were three collaboration models in the project. I can speak to the second model. Dr. Kidd and I were involved with the second collaboration, where education students from Dr. Kidd's "Educational Technology" Course partner with engineering students from one of my two courses "Bio-inspired Robotics" or "Electromechanical systems" to develop robotics lesson plans geared toward building animal-inspired robots, and teach the developed lessons to 5th graders in an after-school session at a local school. The teams (education students and engineering students) first met in the campus three times (each 75 minutes) over three weeks to collaboratively learn robotics and coding concepts and build robots using robotics kits and use this training to prepare their lesson plans. A collaboration agreement in place between the two partners in each team also explicitly established their roles and responsibilities.

    All these gave them ample planning time to engage in a second phase, where they met 5th graders at a local school spanning three times over three consecutive weeks to teach the developed lessons to the elementary kids and also have them build animal-inspired robots as a part of the final design challenge. While the engineering students engaged with education partners at the school for three weeks, the education students continued and met with their 5th grade partners few more times to complete their robot building activities. 

    Yes, that's a great suggestion to swap the roles and as you correctly pointed out, it is suited more to the 10 week program (Collaboration 2). Yes, similar to your thoughts, the education students sought support from their engineering partners during three weeks of collaborative teaching at the school, and in later weeks, they were bound to handle many technical and coding activities themselves without help from the engineers. We are also currently exploring a model where my engineering students are asked to step outside their comfort zones and engage in lesson plan development on par with education students. 

  • Icon for: Krishna Kaipa

    Krishna Kaipa

    Co-Presenter
    May 7, 2020 | 01:46 p.m.

    Hi Greg,

    Great questions. Let me attempt to answer the first one. There were three collaboration models in the project. I can speak to the second model. Dr. Kidd and I were involved with the second collaboration, where education students from Dr. Kidd's "Educational Technology" Course partner with engineering students from one of my two courses "Bio-inspired Robotics" or "Electromechanical systems" to develop robotics lesson plans geared toward building animal-inspired robots, and teach the developed lessons to 5th graders in an after-school session at a local school. The teams (education students and engineering students) first met in the campus three times (each 75 minutes) over three weeks to collaboratively learn robotics and coding concepts and build robots using robotics kits and use this training to prepare their lesson plans. A collaboration agreement in place between the two partners in each team also explicitly established their roles and responsibilities.

    All these gave them ample planning time to engage in a second phase, where they met 5th graders at a local school spanning three times over three consecutive weeks to teach the developed lessons to the elementary kids and also have them build animal-inspired robots as a part of the final design challenge. While the engineering students engaged with education partners at the school for three weeks, the education students continued and met with their 5th grade partners few more times to complete their robot building activities. I will let my other colleagues to answer this question as to how it was handled in the other two collaboration models. 

     

  • Icon for: Krishna Kaipa

    Krishna Kaipa

    Co-Presenter
    May 7, 2020 | 02:05 p.m.

    Hi again Greg,

    Yes, that's a great suggestion to swap the roles and as you correctly pointed out, it is suited more to the 10 week program (Collaboration 2). Yes, similar to your thoughts, the education students sought support from their engineering partners during three weeks of collaborative teaching at the school, and in later weeks, they were bound to handle many technical and coding activities themselves without help from the engineers. We are also currently exploring a model where my engineering students are asked to step outside their comfort zones and engage in lesson plan development on par with education students. 

  • May 8, 2020 | 10:54 a.m.

    Jennifer - Great video! Compliments to your editor, what a great project for your son (I have a 17-year-old at home right now too). As my colleagues at CEISMC have worked with computer scientists and engineers to help strengthen the K-12 teaching force in these areas, we've wondered aloud about whether it is easier to teach an engineer/computer scientist how to teach at the K-12 level or to teach a K-12 educator computer science or engineering. From your project, it seems that both are quite possible but I'd love your thoughts on this. 

  • Icon for: Stacie Ringleb

    Stacie Ringleb

    Co-Presenter
    May 8, 2020 | 11:06 a.m.

    Jessica - great question! Speaking as one of the engineers on the project, one of the reasons why we are partnering engineering students with education students is to hopefully help engineering students stay engaged in engineering both through the partnership with education students and the service learning aspect of the project.  I think you can see from our video that in some cases, our education students have increased confidence in being able to teach engineering, but I think that comes with multiple exposures and possibly time to reflect on the project itself.  One challenge I have as an engineering professor is how to make sure my students value the education students' contribution. It has made me think that we need to be sure that if engineers are strengthening the k-12 teaching force, we need to be sure they value the work of the educators and don't get perceived as someone with knowledge the teacher doesn't have.

     
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    Jessica Gale
  • Icon for: Jennifer Kidd

    Jennifer Kidd

    Lead Presenter
    Master Lecturer
    May 8, 2020 | 03:10 p.m.

    Hi Jessica,

    Honestly I think Dr Ringleb's students (even being freshmen!) are often really excellent teachers for the elementary students. Not all of them, there are exceptions, like some who have a difficult time adjusting their vocabulary, but by and large I have been really impressed with their ability to engage with the kids. As a teacher educator I am obviously committed to helping my students gain these skills, but my students often start out STEM adverse whereas the engineering students are the opposite. Would we call that STEM excited? And, they are often surprised by how much they enjoy interacting with kids and sharing their passion. So, your question was, what was easier? I would say teaching engineers to communicate with kids? What is more necessary? Teaching teachers about engineering! Thanks for the excellent question.

  • Icon for: Bryce Hughes

    Bryce Hughes

    Higher Ed Faculty
    May 8, 2020 | 01:19 p.m.

    What an exciting and innovative project. I'm an education faculty member, though I teach in a higher education program and not a teacher prep program, and I collaborate often with engineering and science colleagues. This project seems to align with what we're learning from a leadership project I'm involved with; we're trying to learn from engineering students their views on leadership and whether they consider themselves a leader, and communication with non-technical audiences seems to be an important aspect of being a leader in the field of engineering. We've also noticed that collaboration and group work plays a role in developing skills they associate with leadership as well. I don't think we've considered deliberate collaboration across fields, which seems like a deliberate and fruitful method for fostering these abilities. What kinds of outcomes are you capturing from the project? Are you capturing any affective outcomes that are important for the professional dispositions of future teachers and/or engineers?

    1. How have you measured engineering knowledge? (or engineering practices)

    No, not really. We did uses measures of leadership, but these were in existing datasets of college students. The original data we collected were qualitative data on engineering identity and leadership identity.

    2. Do you think there is any possibility of partnering education and engineering faculty and students at your institution? What would it take for this to happen?

    I know that for engineering and education faculty to partner, one easy method is to get them together to write a grant proposal. ;) That aside, I think this is an interesting idea. I have colleagues in our teacher prep program whose specialties are in areas of P-12 engineering and technology education, and I have colleagues in our College of Engineering who care about how engineering concepts are taught at the K-12 level. I can definitely see some potential there. They already collaborate to some extent, but I have not seen examples of bringing together engineering and education students like this.

    3. Do you have suggestions for challenging education and engineering students to reach beyond their comfort zones?

    I love how you point out in the video that it's useful for engineering students to explain engineering concepts to non-technical audiences, and for education students to share their knowledge on teaching methods for elementary education. What occurred to me was whether you might have the partners teach each other their area of "expertise," and have them switch roles when working with students. Would that be too much of a challenge? I think the hardest part would be for each to step aside when the other was working!

    4. How can we help engineering students value the work and expertise of education students, and the practice of collaborating with educators?

    I can see this being a challenge because engineering is perceived to be a high-status major due to the perceptions regarding the difficulty of engineering content, and education perceived to be a lower-status major due to perceptions that education content is not difficult (not to mention the gendered aspects of how education and engineering are perceived). I really do think that if engineering students had the opportunity to "do" education, to design and implement teaching activities with kids, they might develop a different appreciation for what goes into teaching practice. Teaching can sometimes be perceived as "easy" because there are aspects of it that may tap into existing tacit knowledge, but understanding what goes into good lesson planning and teaching methods may uncover some of the difficulty and complexity behind teaching practice that engineering students could appreciate.

    Those are my two cents! Thanks for sharing. I'm going to share this with one of my colleagues right away!

     
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    Stacie Ringleb
  • Icon for: Jennifer Kidd

    Jennifer Kidd

    Lead Presenter
    Master Lecturer
    May 8, 2020 | 03:40 p.m.

    Wow Bryce, what a wonderful comment! You were the first to address all our questions! And, I'm thrilled you are going to share our project with your colleagues. It sounds like you have the perfect group for a similar project. 

    As for affective outcomes, we have been collecting written reflections and conducting focus groups. Through these we are learning what both groups find beneficial (working with the kids!) and challenging (working with each other!). We have also been exploring different ways to measure teamwork skills as well as how satisfied students are with their teams. For the preservice teachers, we look at self-efficacy as well as attitudes about engineering and intention to teach engineering lessons in their future classrooms. We are working on instrument validation. It's been an interesting journey to find the right measures. 

    You are right about having the populations deliberately teach one another. My smarter colleagues, Orlando and Kristie, implemented that in their collaboration and I think it is valuable activity. That second half of really forcing them to reverse roles during the lessons with kids, that's trickier. One idea I've seen be pretty successful is to have the 4-5 college students each assign themselves to one smaller group of elementary students during their lessons so everyone is a teacher and everyone is responsible for fielding the engineering questions of their assigned students. We'll keep working on this. Thanks for the suggestion!

    Thank you also for appreciating the differing status of the two professions. I'm trying to elevate my status by hanging out with engineering faculty! They keep telling me to ask for a raise! The engineering (and education!) students are both starting to appreciate the work that goes into developing an effective lesson. This semester was especially interesting as we had both populations working on virtual asynchronous (google slides) and synchronous (Zoom) lessons with 5th graders. The asynchronous lessons required all the work of lesson planning without the reward of student interaction! The Zoom lessons were their own challenge because they were building robots! (Can you hold that piece up to the camera again?!) In both models, the work required for a good lesson was readily apparent. So, maybe were making headway there.

    Now, on to your project. My 11 year old son spends hour and hours on Minecraft and ADORES dragons. How do I "sneak the vegetables into his Mac and Cheese"? Are your quests available for others to use, or only within your summer camp? Please say you share. :-)

    Thanks again for posting!

    Jennifer

  • Icon for: Bryce Hughes

    Bryce Hughes

    Higher Ed Faculty
    May 11, 2020 | 12:51 p.m.

    That's probably the "good student" in me, I see this set of questions and am automatically compelled to try to answer them.

    I don't think the quests from our project are available publicly yet but our intention is that they will be very soon (I think on our end it's more a logistics issue right now in terms of how best to disseminate). So keep an eye out for that. You might keep in touch with our project lead PI, Dr. Nick Lux, about when and how that will occur.

    I think the jury is still out if we've effectively served students their vegetables, but we did see some improvements in spatial reasoning skills in our second year when we moved to the story-based version of the camp. The change in their scores on the spatial reasoning instruments was not statistically significant (though we did only have 40 participants), but the time they completed the instruments did significantly decrease. Most striking though was how engaged they were with the story-based camp as opposed to the summer before when they were simply solving spatial reasoning tasks within Minecraft. We're hoping to explore this in more depth in future work.

    Thanks for the reply, and for checking out our project!

  • Icon for: Alan Peterfreund

    Alan Peterfreund

    Facilitator
    May 10, 2020 | 10:30 a.m.

    Jennifer and team - thank you for be so responsive and thoughtful to the discussion.  Very rich.

     
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    Jennifer Kidd
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