Date of Award:

8-2018

Document Type:

Thesis

Degree Name:

Master of Science (MS)

Department:

Engineering Education

Advisor/Chair:

Gary A. Stewardson

Abstract

The purpose of this study was to compare student motivation between two junior high level computational thinking based STEM curricular activities. These two activities were a newly developed quadcopter based curriculum and a VEX based curricular activity developed for Project Lead the Way’s Gateway to Technology – Automation and Robotics course. Student motivation was assessed using an assessment called My Class Activities which broke motivation into four constructs: interest, challenge, choice, and enjoyment.

This study assessed students in three schools in a northern Utah school district. Students were assessed after receiving each curriculum. Assessment responses were then coded and analyzed. The results of this study suggested that though the junior high VEX curriculum was more challenging and offered students more choice than the quadcopter curriculum, the teacher delivering the curriculum had more to do with student motivation.

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