CEISMC Researchers Guest Edited Special Issue on Covid-19 Impact for the Journal of Pre-College Engineering Education Research

May 10, 2023 - Atlanta, GA

The effects of the COVID-19 pandemic have put a tremendous amount of strain on the educational system in the last few years. Researchers from Georgia Tech’s Center for Education Integrating Science, Mathematics, and Computing (CEISMC) served as guest editors for a recently published special issue of Purdue University’s Journal of Pre-College Engineering Education Research (J-PEER) chronicling the impact.

Guest editors included CEISMC’s Principal Research Scientist Meltem Alemdar, Senior Research Engineer Roxanne Moore, and Postdoctoral Fellow Hoda Ehsan, who is now Director of Quadrivium Engineering and Design at The Hill School.

“Meltem, Roxanne, and Hoda recognized the need to assess and archive the educational impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic. As the editor of J-PEER, I am thankful for their vision and leadership,” explained Senay Purzer, Professor of Engineering Education at Purdue University. “The special issue gave voice to researchers allowing them to share their efforts as they re-imagined pre-college engineering education in the midst of a pandemic and continued their research by developing new ways to collect data. Since the COVID-19 pandemic impacted every part of life, we as editors and researchers are responsible for sharing lessons we learned with future generations.”

The eight articles address the various ways in which pre-college engineering teachers and school administrators responded to the challenges brought on by the pandemic and how they were able to quickly pivot and adapt during this unprecedented period in K-12 education.

Examples include student engagement in online courses in formal and informal settings, students’ identity development in engineering within the context of online and at-home activities, and the experiences of school personnel regarding high school engineering education.

“The COVID-19 pandemic has had a significant impact on pre-college engineering education,” said Alemdar. “As researchers, we felt responsible to document the pandemic impact, and highlight the importance of adaptability, innovation, and resilience, which are key skills for aspiring engineers to develop.”

“COVID continues to have impacts on education, even now. The special issue highlights some significant wins and ways in which we can continue to adapt and innovate that don't further reinforce structural inequities,” added Moore.

The special issue, entitled The Impact of COVID-19 on Pre-College Engineering Education, is available online:  https://docs.lib.purdue.edu/jpeer/vol12/iss2/

—Joëlle Walls, CEISMC Communications