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Research Spending & Results

Award Detail

Doing Business As Name:Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University
  • Jacob Grohs
  • (540) 231-3384
Award Date:01/13/2020
Estimated Total Award Amount: $ 724,031
Funds Obligated to Date: $ 137,457
  • FY 2020=$137,457
Start Date:02/01/2020
End Date:01/31/2025
Transaction Type:Grant
Awarding Agency Code:4900
Funding Agency Code:4900
CFDA Number:47.076
Primary Program Source:045176 H-1B FUND, EHR, NSF
Award Title or Description:CAREER: Engineering Pathways for Appalachian Youth: Design Principles and Long-term Impacts of School-Industry Partnerships
Federal Award ID Number:1943098
DUNS ID:003137015
Parent DUNS ID:003137015
Program:ITEST-Inov Tech Exp Stu & Teac
Program Officer:
  • Amy Wilson-Lopez
  • (703) 292-5068

Awardee Location

Street:Sponsored Programs 0170
Awardee Cong. District:09

Primary Place of Performance

Organization Name:Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University
Cong. District:09

Abstract at Time of Award

Engineering-related industries can be vital to rural communities, yet many youth in these communities do not commonly have educational experiences that introduce them to locally relevant engineering career pathways. In this project, engineers from local manufacturing companies will partner with educators to co-design learning innovations—spanning in-school and out-of-school settings—for over 2,500 high school youth from Appalachian counties. As part of these learning innovations, industry partners will introduce youth to the many applications of engineering that are present in their communities. Across a range of formal and informal spaces, such as schools and libraries, the youth will then have opportunities to use engineering practices and computer programming skills to address local issues of their choosing. Longitudinal research will determine whether and how different groups of rural youth develop and maintain interest in engineering career pathways over a sustained duration of time, from middle school through the period after high school graduation. This project will advance knowledge and practice by generating empirically-based findings that illuminate the features of innovative and responsive approaches for broadening participation in engineering careers among youth from rural communities. This project, submitted to the Faculty Early Career Development Program (CAREER), will generate knowledge regarding how rural youth develop, maintain, or shift engineering interest pathways in the context of sustained engineering activities provided across formal and informal settings. A steering group comprised of industry representatives and formal and informal educators will plan and implement educational innovations in which rural youth have opportunities to use engineering and computer programming skills throughout their middle and high school years. In this longitudinal design-based research, cluster analyses will be conducted to determine how the youth research participants cluster relative to aspects of engineering interest over time. This research will advance knowledge by characterizing how youth with varying levels of interest in engineering may experience different engineering interest pathways. Qualitative methods, such as analyses of interviews with purposively selected youth from each of the clusters, will provide insights as to why shifts in engineering interest occurred at different points in the youths’ trajectories along engineering interest pathways. In order to build capacity among the next generation of researchers in engineering education, this CAREER project will also result in the formation of new content modules for core research methods courses in engineering education doctoral programs as well as curriculum materials for a full special topics course on design-based research methods in engineering education. Content from these modules and the new course will be openly shared with other doctoral programs. This project is funded by the Innovative Technology Experiences for Students and Teachers (ITEST) program, which supports projects that build understandings of practices, program elements, contexts and processes contributing to increasing students' knowledge and interest in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) and information and communication technology (ICT) careers. This award reflects NSF's statutory mission and has been deemed worthy of support through evaluation using the Foundation's intellectual merit and broader impacts review criteria.

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