Undergraduate education incorporating active learning through education outreach presents a critical opportunity to influence future engineering teaching and practice capabilities. Engineering education outreach activities have been shown to have multiple benefits; increasing interest and engagement with science and engineering for school children, providing teachers with expert contributions to engineering subject knowledge, and developing professional generic skills for engineers such as communication and teamwork. A new module at the University of the West of England, Bristol (UWE), called Engineering and Society, paired 45 student engineers and 32 pre-service teachers to enact engineering outreach in primary schools, reaching over 900 children in 30 school classes. A pre and post longitudinal mixed methods design is being employed to measure change in attitudes and Education Outreach Self-Efficacy in student engineers; alongside attitudes, Teaching Engineering Self-Efficacy and Engineering Subject Knowledge Confidence in pre-service teachers. Previous pilot research indicates that highly significant improvements were noted in the pre-service teachers’ confidence and self-efficacy; while both the teachers and engineers qualitatively described benefits arising from the paired peer mentor model.
Fogg Rogers, L., & Fowles-Sweet, W. (2017, November). Engineering and society: Embedding active service learning in undergraduate curricula. Paper presented at UK & Ireland Engineering Education Research Network Symposium 2017: Time for Change! Challenging the Status Quo in Engineering Education, London, UK