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Assistive Technology for Freshmen Design and K-12 Outreach




assistive technology, collaborative design, design, engineering education, K12, outreach


This Work in Progress paper presents on the design of project-based learning approach focused on assistive technology as applied in a freshmen level engineering course which also integrates outreach with the local K12 system. The university course targets general education topics as well as an introductory engineering design experience and includes content on the engineering design process, societal implications of engineering design, and a participatory lab-based design project. A partnering class of 5th graders from a local elementary school made use of a daily block of time set aside for academic interventions and individual project-based work to collaborate with the university class. A qualitative assessment was conducted and has thus far has revealed that the university students found the assistive technology theme of the semester-long design project to be meaningful. For the K12 students, the survey results and anecdotal observations suggest that we were only moderately successful in constructing a meaningful and purposeful design experience, from their perspective.


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