Research

Andrew Davidson

Winter 2020

Exploring the Impact of Outreach in Engineering Education

Over the past 5 years, HCDE has engaged in outreach to K-12 students through design charrettes in classrooms, libraries, and community centers across Washington State. This program has helped K-12 students in under-represented areas with college readiness.

These design charrettes have been facilitated by many UW students, primarily undergraduates. Beyond the value of the charrettes to the K-12 students, we hypothesize that the experiences and reflections of the UW student facilitators have been beneficial to their own learning. 

In this DRG, we want to launch an exploratory study to understand the impact the HCDE K-12 Outreach program has had on students who have led the design charrettes. We will be conducting qualitative interviews with former HCDE outreach facilitators to understand their experiences. This research will contribute to a better understanding of service learning and how outreach can help support undergraduate engineering education.

We are looking for students who have experience with, or a willingness to learn about qualitative research and STEAM outreach and engineering education. This DRG will offer participants an opportunity to work on a research project from its outset.

Planned activities:

  • A literature review on outreach and college access programs, STEAM pipeline, college access, reflective learning, engineering education
  • Building and running a semi-structured interview protocol
  • Analyzing interview data to understand cross-cutting themes

The DRG will meet on Thursdays, from 4:00–5:30 p.m. All participants are expected to register for 2 credits.

To apply, please submit your resume and a letter explaining your interest in and qualifications for the project

The deadline for applications is Sunday, December 1. We will notify all applicants of our decisions by Monday, December 9.

Questions? Please contact:

  • Andrew Davidson <adavid7@uw.edu>, HCDE faculty, K-12 Outreach director
  • Taryn Bipat <tbipat@uw.edu>, HCDE PhD student, K-12 Outreach coordinator
  • Wendy Roldan <wr4@uw.edu>, HCDE PhD student, K-12 Outreach coordinator

Winter 2020

HCD charrette for K-12 outreach 

Students in an Charette

For the past few years, we have been using a design activity known as a charrette as a way to introduce students to the human centered design (HCD) process. In the "HCD Charrette," students are given a particular design space to explore (such as user interfaces for a website, mobile app, or a physical device). In a very short period of time (two hours or less), working in small groups, they brainstorm user needs, develop use-case scenarios, and create interaction designs for an application. We have run these participatory workshops with students at various educational levels, from middle school to graduate programs, and with K-12 teachers. 

A fast-paced, hands-on activity that gives a good first-hand overview of the entire field, the HCD Charrette allows students to experience the thrill of design, while raising questions about its practice, setting the stage for further study. It is adaptable to many different application areas and levels of expertise and interest.

We firmly believe that participatory activities such as this HCD Charrette are far more effective as outreach and recruiting for HCDE than traditional college information sessions. Our long-term goal is to use the HCD Charrette for broad outreach and recruiting in the K-12 environment. We also intend to evaluate this program and practice, and to expand its reach.

In a dub talk (July 5, 2017), “Filling the Pipeline: Design & Engineering Workshops for K-12 Outreach,” we summarized various HCDE outreach efforts. This short paper, “Human-Centered Design Charrettes for K–12 Outreach,” describes our HCDE charrettes for outreach. Further information about the HCDE K-12 Outreach program may be found here: hcde.uw.edu/about/k12.

In this DRG, we will continue to broaden our outreach efforts for human centered design in the K-12 environment. UW student teams will facilitate an HCD Charrette in local school classrooms. Students will meet with classroom teachers to understand their students, learning goals, and environment. Curricula and materials for the HCD Charrette exist and students adapt these materials, customizing them for specific classroom needs. Charrette teams will visit local middle and/or high school classrooms and lead students in the workshop. They will assess the results of the workshops and prepare a report on their findings. We will use these findings to further develop the HCD Charrette protocol.

We are looking for dedicated and enthusiastic students to participate in this project. Eligible students should be familiar with the User Centered Design process, and have already taken HCDE 210, 318, or 518. Experience working with, teaching, or mentoring young students is a plus.

The DRG will meet on Wednesdays, from 4–5:30 p.m. All participants are expected to register for 2 credits.

To apply, please submit your resume and a letter explaining your interest and qualifications for the project.

The deadline for applications is Sunday, December 1. We will notify all applicants of our decisions by Monday, December 9.

Questions? Please contact:

  • Andrew Davidson <adavid7@uw.edu>, HCDE faculty, K-12 Outreach director
  • Taryn Bipat <tbipat@uw.edu>, HCDE PhD student, K-12 Outreach coordinator
  • Arpita Bhattacharya <arpitab@uw.edu>, HCDE PhD student, K-12 Outreach coordinator 

Andrew Davidson's Research Group archive