Informal Pathways to Engineering (IPE)

Partnership with WGBH-Boston

Research Questions:
How do informal engineering programs (such as DESIGN SQUAD) support engineering-related learning over time (i.e., engineering pathways), specifically among middle school students?  What is the profile of students who benefit the most?  How much and what types of exposure support positive outcomes?  What engineering pathways do children pursue after informal programs?

Activity and Sample:
60 middle school students, 30 in MA and 30 in IN, their parents, teachers and affiliated informal educators
Provide students with online educational resources and activities

Framework, Instruments, and Analysis:
Motivational Framework:  Bandura’s Social Cognitive Career Theory
Data collection:  Semi-structured interviews and surveys over three years
Analysis:  Case study and coding of interview transcripts