As a National Science Foundation-funded program, UTeachEngineering is committed to a meaningful research agenda. Our recent and current research centers on questions of student self-efficacy, student learning, and equity of access. While the research into student outcomes is still in a relatively early phase, we have identified several positive outcomes among students in Engineer Your World classrooms. These include the following:
- Students completing Engineer Your World report high levels of confidence in their engineering skills and view engineering as a progressive field that can help solve society’s problems.
- 45 percent of students completing Engineer Your World report planning to major in engineering and college, and over 60 percent of students express interest in an engineering career.
- Students taking Engineer Your World relatively early in their high school careers (i.e., students who have not yet taken and are not co-enrolled in chemistry) demonstrate a statistically significant improvement in spatial visualization skills from the beginning of the course to the end of the course. Spatial visualization skills are strongly positively correlated with success in university engineering programs.
Because we are especially interested in broadening participation in engineering, we are beginning a new research project in 2015 to identify effective strategies for recruiting underrepresented students.
In a Student’s Own Words…
In addition to early research results, we are sometimes fortunate enough to hear from students, either directly or through their teachers, about the impact that Engineer Your World has had on their lives. This message was sent from a first-year student in a top university engineering program in Texas to his Engineer Your World teacher:
“I just wanted to say thank you for everything you did for us in engineering… After being in engineering for 4 weeks now, I don’t think I would be able to survive this class without your help. The first day of class we were told to make a flow chart and a bloc diagram of a system. Most people didn’t know what to do, but since we learned about it last year my team was able to complete the assignment with no problems… We have also had to write an official engineering report, make a gantt chart, and identify needs and wants; all in the first four weeks. But you taught me this and more last year, and I can’t even tell you how much it has helped… You have taught me so much that has helped an immeasurable amount; engineering was the most important class I took in high school as it has helped me so much in college.