The Emergence of Outreach Ambassador Role Identities in Undergraduate Engineering Students
DepartmentPsychological Studies in Education
Permanent link to this recordhttp://hdl.handle.net/20.500.12613/501
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AbstractOne common form of outreach by colleges of engineering is the ambassador program, whereby students interact with middle and high school audiences in an effort to promote STEM-related career choices. Although the impact of such programs on K-12 students’ knowledge and attitudes has been examined, less is known about the impact on the ambassadors themselves. In this research study, we use multiple case study methodology to understand the development of the ambassador role and its emergence at an initial workshop in which undergraduate students learn to craft and deliver engineering-related outreach talks. Narrative data from interviews with a purposefully diverse sample of six participants allowed us to analyze emerging ambassador role identities using the Dynamic Systems Model of Role Identity (Kaplan and Garner, 2017). Findings address three questions: (1) How do individuals’ existing role identities inform the motivation to become an ambassador? (2) How did the role of workshop participant shape the development of the ambassador role? (3) Which features of the training workshop promoted the formulation of an engineering ambassador role identity? Analyses revealed that the ambassador role identity originates from and was very much aligned with components of students’ other, pre-existing role identities. Also evident was a bridging sub-role of presenter, which was anchored in the action possibility of high quality technical communication. Theoretical and practical considerations for preparing undergraduate engineering students to take on an ambassador role are considered.
CitationGarner, J., Haas, C., Alley, M., and Kaplan, A. The Emergence of Outreach Ambassador Role Identities in Undergraduate Engineering Students. Journal of STEM Outreach, 1(2018), 1-18. https://doi.org/10.15695/jstem/v1i1.27
Has partJournal of STEM Outreach, 2018, Vol. 1
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