The Perceptions of Elementary School Students About Engineering Profession

Özlem Özçakır Sümen

Abstract


STEM education is an approach that integrates science, technology, engineering and mathematics and is based on  integrated education of students in these areas. Recently, it has been widely applied in the world, and many researches have been done on it. This approach emphasizes the development of students' productive and innovative skills, and aims to attract their attention to numerical fields and engineering profession. It is important for students to meet STEM education at an early age as their career choices are shaped at early ages. This study was conducted to investigate the perceptions of elementary school students about engineering. Phenomenology from qualitative research designs was used in the research. The study was conducted in a state primary school during the 2017-2018 school year. The participants of the study included a total of twenty students. Mind maps and semi-structured interviews were used as data collection tools in the research. The students were asked to draw mind maps about the basic concept of "engineer". Then, to determine the perceptions of students on the engineering profession, the interviews were conducted. Mind maps were analyzed by content analysis, frequency and percentage values of codes and themes were determined. The interviews were analyzed by descriptive data analysis. As a result of the research, it was seen that some students have very rich conceptual knowledge about engineering and some of them have no knowledge.

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