Guitar, Robotics, and Rocketry Projects to Enhance Advanced Technological Education

Increasing the workforce in STEM fields is important for the nation's global competitiveness. Industries in the rural communities served by Santa Fe College in Florida have increasing demand for highly-skilled and effective technicians. To address this need, Santa Fe College will develop educational resources to promote participation in STEM disciplines and awareness of career possibilities in STEM by providing unique experiences for students. The project will design a single multidisciplinary course to engage students in the scientific methods used for research and analysis. Three different versions of the course will be developed to include a hands-on project focused on either guitar building, rocketry, or robotics. The math, technology, and science skills will be woven throughout these student projects. The courses will be offered to students at three rural educational centers. These students include those who are transitioning from secondary to postsecondary education and first-time college students. Many students in these populations are unfamiliar with STEM technician jobs. The project aims to enhance student abilities and promote interest in career opportunities that will help strengthen the nation's STEM technician workforce.

The objectives of this project will be to: 1) create and implement a project-based Research and Analysis course with three experiential learning project options: guitar building, robotics, and rocketry; 2) provide faculty professional development to ensure consistent implementation of the pedagogy at three rural educational centers; 3) engage a minimum of three local businesses in development and implementation of career exploration presentations and/or videos; and 4) evaluate the change in STEM career attitudes and intentions of program participants through a pre- and post-test research study. Curriculum development will use evidence-based pedagogical practices designed to mitigate stereotype threat and enhance self-efficacy. Building on the work of others, this project will adapt, integrate, and enhance relevant curriculum and resources from other ATE projects, to meet the needs of Santa Fe College's students and community. Because of the rural nature of the participating educational centers, students will include a higher than average percentage of low socioeconomic status students and first-time college students. The project aims to emphasize collaboration with industry partners to better meet employer needs for STEM technicians, and to connect students with industry so they obtain firsthand knowledge of requirements for developing a successful career. The change in STEM attitudes and interest in STEM careers will be measured using a validated pre-post analysis. The results of this project will be disseminated through project presentations and publications, and shared on the ATE Central website.

ATE Award Metadata

Award Number
Funding Status
ATE Start Date
July 1st, 2018
ATE Expiration Date
June 30th, 2023
ATE Principal Investigator
Shellie Banfield
Primary Institution
Santa Fe Community College
Record Type
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