The Research

Funding and Focus

The Outreach Design Education Program is primarily funded by an NIH Science Education Partnership Award (SEPA, 1R25GM142072). The programs described are used to answer research questions about how engineering design education impacts STEM learning, identity and persistence in underrepresented students. The specific aims of this research are:
  1. Provide early engineering education opportunities to middle school students via Design Hackathons that will take place throughout the academic year. 
  2. Facilitate teacher training for middle school teachers to develop their engineering design knowledge and self-efficacy such that they can integrate design into their instruction.  
  3. Cultivate a cohort of master ‘Teachineers’ who are highly adept in engineering design thinking and instruction, and can teach design thinking to other teachers via professional development workshops.
We will use engineering design education to foster engineering identity, empower teachers with design thinking in their STEM instruction, and facilitate teacher-to-teacher instruction in engineering design. These activities, and the research findings that arise from them, will improve the STEM educational ecosystem for middle and high school students and teachers.


  1. A.M. Kyle, M. Carapezza, C. Kovich. “Hk Maker Lab: A summer engineering program for high school students,” Journal of STEM Outreach, [S.l.], v. 1, n. 1, Jan. 2018.  
  2. A.M. Kyle, C. Kovich, M.A. Carapezza, “Hk Maker Lab: Creating Engineering Design Courses for High School Students,” ASEE Annual Conference and Exposition, Salt Lake City, UT, June 2018.  
  3. A.M. Kyle, R.L. Sattler, H.T. Zhao, C. Kovich, “HYPOTHEkids Maker Lab: A Summer Program in Engineering Design for High School Students” ASEE Annual Conference and Exposition, New Orleans, LA, June 2016.


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