Published in Proceedings of the 39th IEEE Frontiers in Education Conference: San Antonio, TX, October 18, 2009, pages W1H-1-W1H-4.
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The definitive version is available at http://dx.doi.org/10.1109/FIE.2009.535059.
The stories of engineering heroes can serve as an exciting means of engaging young students in engineering concepts that are linked to their math and science curriculum. This research explores the development of a storytelling framework including the story of an engineer, a hands-on activity for exploring a related engineering idea, reinforcement of standard math and science curriculum and assessment of the effectiveness of the storytelling medium to teach and inspire young students. Storytelling principles are used to develop these narratives into compelling and engaging stories through the perspective of an individual character. Archival and other scholarly materials on fascinating figures in engineering are used to construct the stories. Following the story, a hands-on activity supports the exploration of the engineering concept related to the engineer's story. A pre- and post-story test are used to assess the effectiveness of the story and activity to learn about what engineers do, and the specific engineering idea.