Document Type

Conference Paper

Publication Date


Publication Title

2023 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition



Conference Name

2023 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, June 25-28, 2023, Baltimore, Maryland


A multidisciplinary service-learning project that involved teaching engineering to fourth and fifth graders was implemented in three sets of engineering and education classes to determine if there was an impact on engineering knowledge and teamwork skills in both the engineering and education students as well as persistence in the engineering students. Collaboration 1 paired a 100-level engineering Information Literacy class in Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering with a 300-level Educational Foundation class. Collaboration 2 combined a 300-level Electromechanical Systems class in Mechanical Engineering with a 400-level Educational Technology class. Collaboration 3 paired a 300-level Fluid Mechanics class in Mechanical Engineering Technology with a 400-level Elementary Science Methods class. Collaborations 1 and 3 interacted with fourth or fifth graders by developing and delivering lessons to the elementary students. Students in collaboration 2 worked with fifth graders in an after-school technology club. While each collaboration had its unique elements, all collaborations included the engineering design process both in classroom instruction and during the service learning project. Quantitative data were collected from both engineering and education students in a pretest/posttest design. Teamwork skills were measured in engineering students using a validated teamwork skills assessment based on peer evaluation. Each class had a comparison class taught by the same instructor that included a team project, and the same quantitative measures. Engineering students who participated in collaboration 1 were evaluated for retention, which was defined as students who were still enrolled in the college of engineering and technology two semesters after completion of the course. Engineering students also completed an evaluation of academic and professional persistence. For the engineering students, none of the assessments involving technical skills had significant differences, although the design process knowledge tests trended upward in the treatment classes. The preservice teachers in the treatment group scored significantly higher in the design process knowledge test, and preservice teachers in collaborations 1 and 3 had higher scores in the engineering knowledge test than the comparison group. Teamwork skills in the treatment group were significantly higher than in the comparison group for both engineering and education students. Thus, engineering and education students in the treatment groups saw gains in teamwork skills, while education students saw more gains in engineering knowledge. Finally, all engineering students had significantly higher professional persistence.


© 2023 American Society for Engineering Education, ASEE Annual Conference Proceedings, Baltimore, Maryland, June 25-28, 2023.

Included in accordance with publisher policy.

Original Publication Citation

Ringleb, S. I., Pazos, P., Cima, F., Kumi, I. K., Ayala, O. M., Kaipa, K., Kidd, J. J., Gutierrez, K., & Lee, M. J. (2023, June). The impact of a multidisciplinary service-learning project on engineering knowledge and professional skills in engineering and education students [Paper presentation]. 2023 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, Baltimore, Maryland.


0000-0003-3376-0252 (Ringleb), 0000-0003-4348-7798 (Pazos), 0000-0002-1453-2353 (Cima), 0000-0003-0604-8606 (Ayala), 0000-0002-8095-938X (Kaipa), 0000-0002-9339-7574 (Gutierrez)