Middle school students' conceptions of engineering

Michelle Jordan, Jan Snyder

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

4 Scopus citations


This study investigated middle school students' conceptions of engineering. Participants were sixth through eighth grade members of afterschool engineering clubs. Thus, the study contributes to understanding middle school students' knowledge of engineering, and also to how afterschool activities shape students' conceptions of engineering. Researchers have increasingly attended to students' perceptions of themselves as engineers, and their attitudes towards engineering majors and careers. However, little research has investigated middle school students' conceptions of engineering-what engineering is and what engineers do. The purpose of this study was to understand how middle school students who join afterschool engineering clubs conceptualize engineering and how engineering afterschool club experiences influence students' conceptions of engineering. The results of our study indicate that many participants had limited conceptions of engineering and suggest a need to connect design activities with knowledge of engineering.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publication2013 Frontiers in Education Conference
Subtitle of host publicationEnergizing the Future, FIE 2013 - Proceedings
Number of pages6
StatePublished - 2013
Event43rd IEEE Annual Frontiers in Education Conference, FIE 2013 - Oklahoma City, OK, United States
Duration: Oct 23 2013Oct 26 2013

Publication series

NameProceedings - Frontiers in Education Conference, FIE
ISSN (Print)1539-4565


Other43rd IEEE Annual Frontiers in Education Conference, FIE 2013
Country/TerritoryUnited States
CityOklahoma City, OK


  • Conceptions of engineering
  • K-12 engineering education
  • Middle grades
  • Middle school

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Software
  • Education
  • Computer Science Applications


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