Engineering design challenge, design challenge, elementary, attitudes, science, engineering
The purpose of this study was to determine if my practice of having 4th grade students participate in engineering design challenges impacted their attitudes towards engineering, the classroom climate, and writing ability. In this action research students were given a pre and posttest that measured their attitudes towards engineering and their perceptions of the classroom climate. A pre and post written reflection was also examined and compared for the use of predicting, observing, thinking, explaining, reflecting, and yearning to learn more. A triangulation of data included the use of pre and posttest statistical analysis, rubrics, teacher observation, and student interviews. The data collected from this action research project showed that that students were more satisfied with the course after completing the design challenges, the classroom environment improved in that students perceived the level of friction in the class had decreased. The data collected also showed that students' attitudes towards engineers was changed in that they were more likely to want to pursue a career in engineering and take a future school course in engineering after having completed this action research. Student generated definitions of engineers demonstrated a decrease in the number of misconceptions about the work of engineers and an increase in students' knowledge as to what engineers do for a living. My practice of implementing engineering design challenges with a 4th grade class did not have an impact on students writing ability.
Master of Education (M.Ed.)
College of Education and Human Performance
Teaching, Learning, and Leadership
K-8 Math and Science
Length of Campus-only Access
Masters Thesis (Open Access)
Dissertations, Academic -- Education;Education -- Dissertations, Academic
Newby, Tara L., "The Implementation of Engineering Design Challenges on 4th Grade Students' Attitudes Towards Engineering, Classroom Climate, and Writing Ability" (2012). Electronic Theses and Dissertations. 4679.