Effects of Formal Engineering Education on Elementary Students' Perspectives

Open Access
Author:
Glocke, Erin Elizabeth
Area of Honors:
Childhood and Early Adolescent Education
Degree:
Bachelor of Science
Document Type:
Thesis
Thesis Supervisors:
  • Mandy Sue Biggers, Thesis Supervisor
  • Carla Zembal Saul, Honors Advisor
Keywords:
  • elementary
  • education
  • engineering
Abstract:
As STEM (Science–Technology–Engineering–Mathematics) becomes an increasingly prominent subject in current education, questions are rising about how to best incorporate these subjects into classrooms and also about how students engage in the material. As a student teacher from Lorax University at Truffula Elementary School, I was given the opportunity to plan and introduce a formal engineering unit for the first time to a group of 5th graders. Through pre- and post-surveys, observations, data from student work, and conversations I held with individual students, I analyzed how student perceptions of engineering shifted as they engaged in formal instruction on the subject. I also analyzed broadly student enjoyment of the subject in order to draw conclusions about the benefits students receive from engaging in a formal engineering unit in elementary school.