Author ORCID Identifier
The societal disruptions due to the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic are well noted, especially in the context of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) education. Absent a concerted effort to sustain hands-on learning opportunities in STEM amid the crisis, the consequences of COVID-19 may exacerbate existing inequities and racial disparities among youth of color further stratifying the STEM fields. In the current study, we applied a mixed-method descriptive case study design, using online learning theory and culturally responsive pedagogy as our conceptual framework, to describe how participants experienced this camp, held online due to disruptions of COVID-19, in the southeastern region of the USA. We also share findings from the implementation of a justice bots project, which enabled participants to connect social justice and engineering. Participants included middle school youth, undergraduate engineering students, and in-service math and science teachers. Data sources entailed focus groups, pre-post surveys, observations, and artifacts. Our results indicated that participants experienced gains in their communication skills, positive changes in attitudes toward STEM for middle school youth, established meaningful connections, and enhanced their technical knowledge. Middle school youth reported enjoying the online summer camp environment, though they had experienced more than a year of education online. Undergraduate engineering students asserted that it was challenging to communicate coding and other technical knowledge virtually but having to do so strengthened their capacity to teach others while honing their own competencies. Lastly, in-service math and science teachers reported a better understanding of the connection between engineering and social justice based on their experiences in the camp. We conclude this article with implications for engineering education.
Lane, T. B.,
Cain, L. K.,
Serving the Underserved Amid COVID-19: The Case of a Virtual, Culturally Responsive Summer Engineering Camp.
Journal of Pre-College Engineering Education Research (J-PEER), 12(2), Article 5.