The Effects of STOMP on Students’
Attitudes and Understandings Toward the Engineering Design Process
Doctoral Student in Engineering Education
The Student Teacher Outreach Mentorship Program (STOMP) is an engineering educational
outreach program, which places undergraduate engineers into K-12 classrooms
and after school programs. The STOMP program has two main goals. The first goal
is to support K-12 educational settings in the implementation of engineering
activities and curricula in order to foster technological literacy. The second
goal of the program is to provide undergraduate engineering students with an
opportunity to engage in citizenship and public service through educational
support. Since the inception of the program, coordinators and participants alike
have hypothesized that being engaged in supporting K-12 engineering education
impacts engineering students’ attitudes, knowledge, and communication
skills. Previous research which focused on the STOMP engineering students using
qualitative interviews, showed that involvement in such a program leads to the
development of citizenship and communication skills.
The goal of my dissertation work is to analyze the effects of participation
in the Student Teacher Outreach Mentorship Program; specifically looking at
the possibility that participation in such a program helps to develop a deeper
understanding of the engineering design process. The project will also look
at how participation effects citizenship, attitudes, confidence, and communication
skills. Much has been said of how beneficial the presence of subject-matter
content knowledge expert volunteers in the classroom are for both students and
teachers alike, but what exactly are the volunteers, in this case STOMP fellows,
gaining. The study will investigate whether or not such an experience is beneficial
for the STOMP fellows by looking at their overall change in understanding of
the engineering design process, their attitudes, and their confidence before
and after their experience. The hope is that this research will generate information
that institutions of higher education can use to better understand how outreach
of this nature impacts students engaged in outreach.
- compose a test group of STOMP fellows from Tufts University, Princeton University,
Massachusetts Institute of Technology, University of Colorado at Boulder, University
of Hawaii and Rochester Institute of Technology
- compose a control group of engineering students "equivalent" to
the STOMP fellows minus the outreach component
- assess both test and control initial understandings of the engineering design
process using an open-ended knowledge assessment
- educate the STOMP fellows about the engineering design process, K-12 education
standards and teaching skills
- allow the STOMP fellows to design classroom activities/curriculum and teach
this content to students younger than they are in conjunction with a K-12 teacher
- observe both test and control groups in their particular situated environment
- test both groups knowledge again using a post-knowledge assessment; determine
changes that have occurred
- retrospectively survey the groups to determine their changes or lack there
of in attitude, confidence and understanding of the engineering design process
- interview students from both groups as supportive evidence
- compare coursework grades
- compare STOMP fellows with the control group
Preliminary data to be presented at the 2007 ASEE Conference shows that participation
does have an effect on STOMP fellows understandings of the engineering design
process. Further research must be conducted to improve upon the assessment tools
used in the pilot study.
Carberry, A., Portsmore, M., & Rogers, C. (2007). The Effects of STOMP on
Students' Attitudes and Understandings Toward the Engineering Design Process,
Proceedings of the 2007 American Society for Engineering Education Annual Conference
& Exposition, June 24-27, Honolulu, HI.
Cejka, E., Pickering, M., Conroy, K., Moretti, L., & Portsmore, M. (2005).
What do college engineering students learn in K-12 classrooms?: Understanding
the development of citizenship & communication skills, Proceedings of the
2005 American Society for Engineering Education Annual Conference & Exposition,
June 12-15, Portland, OR..
Gravel, B. E., Cunningham, C. M., Knight, M. T., & Faux, R. (2005). Learning
through Teaching: A Longitudinal Study on the Effects of GK-1 Programs on Teaching
Fellows, Proceedings of the 2005 American Society for Engineering Education
annual Conference & Exposition.
Portsmore, M., Rogers, C., & Pickering, M. (2003). STOMP: Student Teacher
Outreach Mentorship Program, Proceedings of the 2003 American Society for Engineering
Education annual Conference & Exposition, June 22-25, Nashville, TN.
Smith, K.A., Johnson, D.W., Johnson, R.W., and Sheppard, S.D. (2005). Pedagogies
of Engagement: Classroom-Based Practices, Journal of
Engineering Education, 94 (1), 87–101.
Teacher Outreach Mentorship Program (STOMP) ; STOMP