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Identifying engineering interest and potential in middle school students : constructing and validating an instrument
conference contributionposted on 06.12.2017, 00:00 by M Strutz, Matthew Ohland, E Bowen, E Mann
Due to the projected U.S. market demand in 2014 for 1.64 million engineering educated and trained individuals, it is vital that we help children understand engineering concepts, explore career choices in the field of engineering, and determine if pursuing engineering would be a good fit for them. Today’s curriculum is very focused on mathematics and writing due to the demands of standardized testing, however with a national interest in Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics (STEM) education, there is a movement to incorporate engineering into the curriculum. Since children make career choices by 7th grade, integrating engineering concepts and engineering college education and career options into the K-6 curriculum are a necessary change. One way to determine if engineering is a good fit is for a student to use a self-assessment instrument. A self-assessment tool helps an individual discover more about him/her self. In making career choices, an assessment of one’s skills, interests, personality, and values influences career decisions. Exploration of the literature reveals that an instrument for self-assessment of young engineering talent, interest, and fit does not exist. The purpose of this research is to create an instrument to help fifth and sixth grade students identify themselves as having engineering interest and potential. The purpose of this instrument is to raise awareness of student interest and potential in engineering and is not intended to serve as a screening instrument. This work describes the instrument development, the input from the engineering and education communities in the context of content validity, the pilot and revision of the draft instrument, and the content validation of the final instrument.