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Experiential Learning in a Summer Program: Engaging Undergraduate Students in STEM Research Experience

Authors:

Hamideh Talifian ,

Drexel University
About Hamideh

Hamideh Talafian, is a Ph.D. student and research assistant in the School of Education at Drexel University. Her research interests focus on motivation in STEM, Experiential Learning, educational technology, and mixed-method research.

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Tamara Galoyan,

Drexel University
About Tamara

Tamara Galoyan, is a is a Ph.D. candidate and research assistant in the School of Education at Drexel University. Her research interests focus on the transfer of learning, learner cognition, formal and informal learning, and curriculum design.

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Penny L. Hammrich,

About Penny

Penny L. Hammrich, is a professor in the School of Education at Drexel University. Specialized in Science Education, she is also the Associate Dean of the Academic Affairs and Graduate Studies. Here research interests focus on Science Education, Gender Equity, and Conceptual Change Learning.

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Leslie Lamberson

About Leslie
Leslie Lamberson, is an Assistant Professor in the College of Engineering at Drexel University. Lamberson’s laboratory research focuses on the experimental and analytical investigations of the dynamic behavior of multifunctional material.
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Abstract

This study explored experiential learning opportunities for undergraduate students in the area of energy and environment as part of a National Science Foundation (NSF) funded Research Experience for Undergraduate students (xREU). This summer research project was conducted in a private university located in the northeastern United States. Since the primary objective of the xREU program was to attract students from non-research-intensive universities to interdisciplinary research, the program was specifically designed to address the development of key learning and working skills that will serve participants throughout their careers. Using several instruments (including the National Engineering Students’ Learning Outcomes Survey [NESLOS], a survey administered biweekly, and a 24-item demographic questionnaire), we collected both qualitative and quantitative data. The results showed that, overall, participants’ content knowledge and other related skills were enhanced over the summer through experiential learning opportunities. At the beginning of the program, most students learned more about conducting an experiment from their coursework learning, whereas toward the end of the program they learned more from their engineering service experiences.

How to Cite: Talifian, H., Galoyan, T., Hammrich, P. L., & Lamberson, L. (2019). Experiential Learning in a Summer Program: Engaging Undergraduate Students in STEM Research Experience. Summer Academe: A Journal of Higher Education, 12.
Published on 04 Sep 2019.
Peer Reviewed

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