Icon for: David Burghardt

DAVID BURGHARDT

Hofstra University/Center for STEM Research
Public Discussion
  • Icon for: David Burghardt

    David Burghardt

    Lead Presenter
    May 13, 2018 | 09:43 p.m.

    Co-PI Melissa Rhodes and I hope that you find the video interesting, perhaps intriguing. We are in the fourth year of a five year project working with Boys & Girls Clubs in three states and have developed a robust virtual professional development model for non-STEM trained facilitators, as well as creating a very robust online learning environment featuring engineering design, WISEngineering. We certainly invite comments and questions about our challenges and successes.

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    Jamie Bell

    Facilitator
    May 14, 2018 | 09:10 a.m.

    David and Melissa, thank you for this video. You've clearly learned a lot during four years of thoughtful design in this work. I'd be curious to know more specifics about how you addressed some of the challenges you encountered, e.g. the range of STEM experiences of the facilitators and the diversity of the clubhouse facilities. Was formative evaluation or embedded assessment of the design strategies conducted and applied along the way?

     

  • Icon for: David Burghardt

    David Burghardt

    Lead Presenter
    May 14, 2018 | 03:24 p.m.

     

    Jamie.. you definitely bring up some challenging issues and we have learned a great deal.  While developing the proposal for WGG we worked with several clubs and began to learn how the culture of different BGCs could vary widely.  Additionally, the level of STEM expertise and interest varied.  Once funded and we expanded the number of participating clubs we purposefully included clubs that were struggling, and clubs that were efficiently run.   We knew to achieve wide dissemination we needed to look broadly at potential uses and our solutions would require a robust design.  We also knew we had a great deal to learn and to accomplish that we had members of the management staff serve as liaisons to different clubs.  They worked with the facilitators during the first two years to learn what we needed to provide in terms of support.  We also used an iterative design process for activities, the WISEngineering activities and software.  In the end we developed facilitator resources that could be readily accessible (actually on a smart phone) and understandable to facilitators with no STEM background.  We created activities that could be completed by middle age youth and included embedded content so that no real teaching was required of the facilitator (who might have no background in STEM).  In terms of evaluation strategies we used a variety of approaches and collected data about and from multiple perspectives.  As youth engaged in the activities, WISEngineering collected data through assessments embedded in the activities.  We also collected feedback from facilitators both within the WISEngineering platform and through surveys and interviews collected outside the activity.  The liaisons and evaluators observed club activity sessions, documenting youth and facilitator engagement, confusions and designs.  This past year we developed an assessment activity, Shark Tank, that challenges youth to create engineering design activities, along with a rubric so they can self assess.   The value of these designs and youth’s self-assessment for evaluating youth learning is currently being studied. 

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    Lorraine Rubin

    May 14, 2018 | 04:13 p.m.

    This program has evolved over the years to become more "user friendly" and fun than when it first began.  Xiang Fu did an excellent job at working out the kinks and he was very supportive during the program.  More members are engaged for longer periods of time during the lab phase and the support staff is responsive to our needs.

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    ellen furuya

    Higher Ed Administrator
    May 15, 2018 | 11:29 a.m.

    Lorraine, Thanks to feedback from you and other Boys & Girls Clubs we made modifications.  For example, we streamlined the introductions to be concise without losing the key messages.  We moved to shorter career videos with more diversity.  We simplified the process for taking pictures and posting to the design wall.  We added an award certificate and enabled it for kids to email it to themselves and others.  Each  small change adds up to better outcomes! 

  • Icon for: Kalie Sacco

    Kalie Sacco

    Facilitator
    May 14, 2018 | 06:57 p.m.

    Thanks for sharing this project! It's clear that your learner participants were engaged and having fun doing the activities. I am interested in your "tagline" at the end of the video--'sustainable and scalable.' I see some markers of scalability--e.g., the activities use inexpensive materials. Can you talk a bit more about how you plan to scale to new geographic locations and/or learning settings?

  • Icon for: David Burghardt

    David Burghardt

    Lead Presenter
    May 15, 2018 | 10:52 a.m.

    Kalie, glad you are intrigued by the tagline at the end.  We wanted to have a project that could scale and sustain itself after NSF funding and I think we found a method to do so.  This is a work in progress, we are putting pieces together.  First, we  had to have a way to do professional development virtually and the PD videos, plus text material, seem to be doing the job.  This year we had 50% new Facilitators leading activities, successfully, and we had no in-person PD.  We are learning more about how to create the videos inexpensively and have them be easily accessible.  Second, to sustain a project, we need to have some source of revenue, however modest, to support personnel in providing the service.  We have collaborated for many years with Brookhaven National Laboratory and they created a model from an earlier project that works and we are using that method.  Basically, for a modest fee we will provide the activities, the server support, register users, and they will have access to all the virtual PD materials.  We hope by early fall to have the STEMgineering Academy up and running.  Because we do not require in-person PD, we can work with organizations anywhere.  

  • Icon for: Kalie Sacco

    Kalie Sacco

    Facilitator
    May 15, 2018 | 12:14 p.m.

    Thanks for the reply, David. It's great that you are thinking about sustainability so early in the process. I hope in your dissemination strategy, you are able to share more about the model you're developing with Brookhaven with other PIs--speaking from a revenue-generating institution, I think that's something the field definitely needs!

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    Tiffany Wilson

    May 15, 2018 | 10:28 a.m.

    Hi David, similar to Kalie's question about scalability, I was wondering if there are any plans to make WISEngineering activities for other age groups (high school, elementary), and more subject areas. Can anyone access and use the activities? 

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    David Burghardt

    Lead Presenter
    May 15, 2018 | 10:59 a.m.

    Tiffany, we would very much like to do that.  On earlier projects we developed materials for elementary school aged children (I teach a course in Children's Engineering for elementary school teachers) and we have developed materials for high school and beyond.  I do believe in engineering design as a problem solving strategy across curricular areas, so using engineering design in a variety of content areas is something we are exploring.  If you go to www.hofstraCSR.org, there are a variety of resources and going to www.wiseguysandgals.com will lead you to activity resources for the current project.  

  • Icon for: Preeti Gupta

    Preeti Gupta

    Facilitator
    May 15, 2018 | 02:44 p.m.

    Great to hear about this project. Tell us a bit more about the assessments. i am so curious about we as a field measure when our children are gaining these skills. How many total children were part of the project? Were they all part of the evaluation? Did you find differences in results based on certain characteristics of the children? Prior experiences, for example or gender-based?

  • Icon for: Jamie Bell

    Jamie Bell

    Facilitator
    May 15, 2018 | 08:47 p.m.

    Thanks for the great questions, all, and thoughtful replies, David. Data is clearly driving design in interesting ways. As one who sees lots of different approaches to thresholding and facilitating understanding of the engineering design process, wondering if you all have learned from and/or built on the work of others, and where you see the need for further innovation in this area.

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    David Burghardt

    Lead Presenter
    May 17, 2018 | 04:05 p.m.

    Preeti/Jamie—nothing like the Video Showcase during final exam week to make life more interesting. 

     

    One of the innovations of WISEngineering is that we can capture youth responses directly and provide feedback to them.  For instance, we query them about design specifications and constraints, a key idea in the engineering design process, and provide immediate feedback to them re the accuracy of their responses.  Similarly, at different points in the design process, let’s say during testing and evaluation of their designs (the projects have design evaluation criteria linked to specifications) they can self evaluate the performance of their design solutions.  We are also seeking reflection on their design solution, how they might improve upon it based on the design evaluation.  This year is the first year that we have moved from piloting to collecting research data, and there is a huge amount we can draw upon from time on task, to changes in responses over time for the same person.  Coupled with this we have activity reflection responses from the Boys & Girls Club facilitators, their view of the youth participating and self-reflection on their part.  Of course, our work builds on the work of others, and the work we have done re informed engineering design over the past 20 years.  One of the compelling aspects of our efforts is the expansion of knowledge integration in the informal domain.  One of the consultants on our project is keenly interested in this.  We are also trying to tease out youth gaining design thinking as a problem solving strategy, and the longitudinal analysis of youth response we anticipate will provide us insight regarding this.  Regarding gender and individual identity, we do not have that information, we track participants by login information, which are letters and numbers.  We have general whole group demographics from the facilitators.

  • Icon for: Preeti Gupta

    Preeti Gupta

    Facilitator
    May 16, 2018 | 07:52 p.m.

    Jamie, great question..David.. what are your thoughts on all of this? I realize it is complex and there are so many directions one can take it!

  • Icon for: Jamie Bell

    Jamie Bell

    Facilitator
    May 17, 2018 | 02:58 p.m.

    Thanks Preeti. I almost wish someone would make a map of how all of the approaches to the engineering design process overlap, and don't.... that said, I love that projects like Wise Guys and Gals are constantly innovating. Dave, question, what have you found are the most important skills for facilitators to bring or learn to be successful?

  • Icon for: David Burghardt

    David Burghardt

    Lead Presenter
    May 17, 2018 | 04:15 p.m.

    Jamie, since we don't require prior STEM knowledge or skills, the Facilitator abilities that have proven most useful, I believe, are taking time to prepare and do the activity themselves before having the youth undertake them. In our PD videos we have a section,'Where the Gotchas can Getcha' which has been helpful in trying to avoid pitfalls.  We have suggested ways to have children login and for Facilitators to keep track of passwords, etc.  We have had many comments from Facilitators that this is the first time they found STEM exciting and interesting.  Also, we ask that Facilitators reflect on the activity as soon as possible after it is completed and their persistence (and ours) in doing so has helped us learn more about the dynamics of the intervention.  

  • Icon for: Domenic Scorzetti

    Domenic Scorzetti

    Graduate Student
    May 21, 2018 | 04:43 p.m.

    Mr. Burghardt,

    This looks like a unique approach to getting students interested and involved with STEM concepts. Was this implemented in other settings aside from the Boys and Girls clubs? What level of "increased content knowledge" did you find in your research and what measures did you use? Is the program scalable for ELL or learning support students? Is the software focused on engineering concepts within certain disciplines? How math-intensive are the activities? Are there kits available for purchase or is this set up so that participants simply purchase easily-accessible materials on their own? Did you find that having facilitators with little to no STEM training was an issue? If so, how did you overcome that?

    Thank you.

  • Further posting is closed as the showcase has ended.