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Piloting Innovative Learning Experiences: Outcomes of Digital Fabrication Activities across Five Classrooms

, Texas Christian University, United States ; , , , University of North Texas, United States

JCMST Volume 38, Number 2, ISSN 0731-9258 Publisher: Association for the Advancement of Computing in Education (AACE), Waynesville, NC USA

Abstract

Declining academic achievement across U.S. schools, particularly in mathematics and science, has prompted several initiatives to increase the quality of teaching in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM). The National Science Foundation initiated the Innovative Technology Experiences for Students and Teachers (ITEST) program in order to develop new instructional methods that promote deep engagement in science, technology, engineering and mathematics. This study examines, based on research funded by ITEST, outcomes from five classroom-based digital fabrication implementations, all part of the same study, and particularly their effect on student attitudes toward STEM subjects and careers. The study employed a quantitative design involving fourth- and fifth-grade students from five classrooms in two different schools, with each classroom focused on one or more of the following activities: wind-generated electricity, simple machines, 3-dimensional puzzles, or solar-powered satellites. Data were collected using items from the National Assessment of Academic Progress (NAEP) and Trends in International Mathematics Science Study (TIMSS) at the beginning and end of the school year. The findings provide evidence of positive changes in attitudes toward STEM subjects and careers across multiple classrooms. Applications of these findings and directions for future studies are discussed.

Citation

Alexander, C., Knezek, G., Christensen, R. & Tyler-Wood, T. (2019). Piloting Innovative Learning Experiences: Outcomes of Digital Fabrication Activities across Five Classrooms. Journal of Computers in Mathematics and Science Teaching, 38(2), 115-152. Waynesville, NC USA: Association for the Advancement of Computing in Education (AACE). Retrieved June 27, 2019 from .