Head Start on Engineering: Early findings (Work in Progress)
This paper was present at the 2017 ASEE (American Society for Engineering Education) Annual Conference & Exposition.
Head Start on Engineering (HSE) is a collaborative, NSF-funded research and practice project designed to develop and refine a theoretical model of early childhood, engineering-related interest development. The project focuses on Head Start families with four-year-old children from low-income communities and is being carried out collaboratively by researchers, science center educators, and a regional Head Start program. The ultimate goal of the HSE initiative is to advance the understanding of and capacity to support early engineering interest development for young learners, especially for children from low-income families and traditionally underserved communities. Building on prior work that examined the conversations of parents and young children engaged in engineering design (Dorie, Carella, & Svarovsky, 2014; 2015), the beginning stages of HSE explore the perceptions, interactions, and interest development of young children and their parents while engaged in activities that incorporate elements of the engineering design process. We specifically focus on parent-child interactions because of role that early interest (Maltese & Tai, 2010) and parents (Mannon & Schreuders, 2007) play in the occupational choices of populations traditionally underrepresented in STEM (Eccles et al., 1999).