S4-4 Tue Jan 5 11:15 – 11:30 Early technology-based intervention promotes self-efficacy in a bioinspired design course Bhatti, HA*; Ruopp, R; McPherson, A; Full, RJ; University of California, Berkeley; University of California, Berkeley; University of California, Berkeley; University of California, Berkeley firstname.lastname@example.org http://biodesign.berkeley.edu
Often, undergraduate STEM courses overlook the potentially impactful role of early course experiences on psychosocial variables that affect students’ academic achievement, retention, and persistence. In our Bioinspired Design course open to all majors and levels of STEM expertise, we designed a 3D printing activity meant to promote students’ academic self-efficacy by leveraging the democratization of invention within the maker movement. We developed this activity based on student requests for an early makerspace experience during pilot versions of the course. Inspired by these requests and utilizing an open-source, 3D printed prosthetic hand designed for children affected by symbrachydactyly, each student in the course (Year 1: n=173; Year 2: n=178) 3D printed a prosthetic finger. Each finger was then used in the collaborative, team-based assembly of all parts of the 3D printed prosthetic hand, resulting in a fully functional final product. Survey data from students showed a widespread unfamiliarity with both makerspace activities and 3D printing before engaging in the course activity. After completing the activity, survey data showed students were more comfortable using makerspace equipment, more interested in learning about other makerspace equipment, as well as a general sentiment that 3D printing a prosthetic finger was not a technically difficult exercise. Students felt a sense of inclusion and belonging to a technological community. Results support the overarching course objective of integrating bioinspired design with the maker movement to empower all students to be makers, specifically through the utilization of technologies like digital fabrication to build societally-beneficial designs.