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Playful Materials Catalyze Imaginative Play and Shift the Nature of Engineering Design for Preschool-age Children and Their Families

April 2, 2022 | Informal/Formal Connections

In collaboration with Metropolitan Family Service (MFS), we conducted a three-year design-based research study to better understand how the characteristics of hands-on, home-based family engineering activities influence how preschool-age children and their parents engage in the engineering design process. Four themes emerged from the study: (1) Families used their imagination and activity narrative elements to set the design context, (2) Families evaluated and revised their solutions based on imagination-driven constraints, (3) Families creatively modified the design space, and (4) Imaginative play fostered user-centered design.

TEAM MEMBERS

  • 2013 06 21 IMG 0768
    Author
    TERC Inc.
  • 2015 03 12 IMG 20130207 112101
    Author
    University of Notre Dame
  • Amy Corbett
    Author
    Metropolitan Family Service
  • Maria Eugenia Perdomo
    Author
    Metropolitan Family Service
  • Smirla Ramos Montanez
    Author
    TERC, Inc.
  • Catherine Wagner
    Author
    University of Notre Dame
  • Viviana L√≥pez Burgos
    Author
    Independent Consultant
  • Sabrina De Los Santos
    Author
    TERC Inc.
  • Citation

    DOI : 10.13140/RG.2.2.19143.16803

    Funders

    NSF
    Funding Program: EngEd-Engineering Education
    Award Number: 1930848
    Funding Amount: $399,371.00
    Resource Type: Research Products
    Discipline: Education and learning science | Engineering
    Audience: Pre-K Children (0-5) | Families | Parents/Caregivers | Educators/Teachers | Museum/ISE Professionals | Learning Researchers
    Environment Type: Informal/Formal Connections | Pre-K/Early Childhood Programs
    Access and Inclusion: Ethnic/Racial | Hispanic/Latinx Communities | English Language Learners

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