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K-State Today

August 17, 2023

Researchers publish article about Summer STEM Institute class in international journal

Submitted by Patrice Scott

An article exploring the impact of a construction class offered this summer as part of the Summer STEM Institute — a Kansas State University College of Education collaborative project with Manhattan-Ogden USD 383 — has been published for a recent international conference.

"Tiny Houses — Big Learning: Impact of Building Industry Summer Camp on Middle Grade Females" was published recently as part of the proceedings for the Thirteenth International Conference on Construction in the 21st Century in Arnhem, the Netherlands.

The research detailed the weeklong class and revealed a positive increase in the girls' interest in engineering or construction-related careers.

The authors are Katie Loughmiller, associate professor in architectural engineering and construction science and doctoral student in curriculum and instruction with the College of Education; Derek Clements, assistant professor of architecture engineering/construction science; and Stacy Harris, eighth-grade science teacher at Anthony Middle School in Manhattan. Loughmiller and Harris have co-taught the Tiny Houses — Big Learning class in the Summer STEM Institute for two years. Prior to that, they co-taught a City of Minecraft class for the camp for six years.

The annual STEM camp, which just completed its 13th year, is open to middle schoolers in the local school district and is held on the K-State campus. Approximately 200-300 middle schoolers attend each summer. The camp is highlighted by a Summer STEM Showcase held on the camp's last day.