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Lab Meeting Time and Topics

Spring Quarter 2015 - Lab Meeting on Tuesdays, 2:30p - 4:30p

Center for Design Research (560) on the second floor ... or via Skype (jinqu03)

Date Topic Date Topic
March 31 TBD May 12 ASEE Practice
April 7 TBD
May 19 ASEE Practice
April 14 TBD
May 26 ASEE Practice
April 21 TBD
June 2 ASEE Practice
April 28 TBD
June 9 No Lab
May 5 TBD

DEL Winter 2015 Undergraduate Researcher Opening

NOTE: Application review for this position is currently closed. Thank you for your interest!

The Designing Education Lab (DEL) led by Professor Sheri Sheppard is undertaking a large national study of engineering students' interests and goals surrounding innovation and entrepreneurship. This is a longitudinal survey project conducted as part of our work with the National Center for Engineering Pathways to Innovation (or Epicenter). The baseline survey will be launched in February 2015 to more than 20,000 engineering majors at upwards of 20-25 U.S. institutions.

Winter quarter research activities for hourly undergraduate researcher:

  1. (JAN-MAR) Enter and sort information (e.g., survey administration dates) in Excel; conduct analysis of information and develop mini-reports to share with larger team of researchers
  2. (JAN) Support the survey pilot process
  3. (FEB) Be involved in survey deployment activities using Limesurvey (e.g., checking response rates, fielding administration questions)
  4. (MAR) Participate in building the survey dataset - data "cleaning", data coding and re-coding, qualitative analysis of open-ended comments
  5. (JAN-MAR) Have fun with the team!

Approximate number of hours per week and hourly rate: 8-10 hours per week, at $15.00 per hour


  • Stanford undergraduate majoring in an engineering discipline
  • Facility with data entry in Excel and designing presentations in PowerPoint
  • Prior experience with statistical software (e.g., SPSS, MatLab, R), qualitative analysis software (e.g., Dedoose), and/or online survey platforms (e.g., Limesurvey, Qualtrics) is preferred
  • Interest in learning about survey-based research methods and online survey platforms
  • Excitement about gaining insights into engineering undergraduates’ learning experiences and career pathways on a national level

The position would commence in January 2015. There is the possibility of an extension into the Spring and Summer as a long-term Undergraduate Research Opportunity.

Please contact Shannon Gilmartin, DEL Research Scientist, at, or Sheri Sheppard, DEL's Principal Investigator, at, with interest or questions.

ME Summer Undergraduate Research Institute (SURI) - 2014

Autumn anna.jpg

The DEL SURI's had a productive (and fun!) summer. Pictured above, Autumn Turpin (left) and Anna Breed (right):

Autumn and Anna were assisted by Helen Chen, Peggy Boylan-Ashraf, Qu Jin, Mark Schar and Sheri Sheppard.


Epicenter Research Summit - August 4-5, 2014


The first Epicenter Research Summit was held on August 4 and 5, 2014, at Stanford University. This meeting convened top researchers in entrepreneurship, education, and engineering to present and discuss the latest work in the field.  More than 70 faculty, administrators, staff, graduate students and undergraduate students gathered for two days of sessions, activities and community building. The sessions and discussions covered topics ranging from programs to curriculum to the role of students in research.

The meeting was hosted by the National Center for Engineering Pathways to Innovation (Epicenter). Epicenter, funded by the National Science Foundation and directed by Stanford University and the National Collegiate Inventors and Innovators Alliance (NCIIA), empowers undergraduate engineering students to bring their ideas to life for the benefit of our economy and society.

To review the agenda, see a list of attendees or download the presentations and posters, click on this link.

DEL @ ASEE June 2014

The Designing Education Lab was well-represented at the June, 2014 American Society of Engineering Education annual conference where eight papers were presented. DEL Team Members received first and second place awards for best paper in the ASEE Entrepreneurship and Engineering Innovation Division, respectively, for “Supporting Change in Entrepreneurship Education: Creating a Faculty Development Program Grounded in Results from a Literature Review” and “Comparing Engineering and Business Undergraduate Students’ Entrepreneurial Interests and Characteristics.” Phil Weilerstein, Deputy Director of Epicenter and president of NCIIA, received the Journal of Engineering Entrepreneurship Pioneer Award.

The papers presented included:

  • Comparing Engineering and Business Undergraduate Students’ Entrepreneurial Interests and Characteristics Dr. Qu Jin (Stanford University), Dr. Shannon Katherine Gilmartin (Stanford University), Dr. Sheri D. Sheppard (Stanford University), and Dr. Helen L. Chen (Stanford University)
  • Exploring Entrepreneurial Characteristics and Experiences of Engineering Alumni Miss Janna Rodriguez (Stanford University), Dr. Helen L. Chen (Stanford University), Dr. Sheri Sheppard (Stanford University), Dr. Qu Jin (Stanford University), and Ms. Samantha Ruth Brunhaver (Stanford University)
  • Utilizing Concept Maps to Improve Engineering Course Curriculum in Teaching Mechanics Ruben Pierre-Antoine (Stanford University), Dr. Sheri D. Sheppard (Stanford University), and Dr. Mark Schar (Stanford University)
  • Evaluation of Impact of Web-based Activities on Mechanics Achievement and Self-Efficacy Professor Sarah L. Billington (Stanford University), Dr. Sheri D. Sheppard (Stanford University), Professor Robert C Calfee (Graduate School of Education, Stanford University), and Dr. Peggy C. Boylan-Ashraf (Stanford University)
  • Predicting Entrepreneurial Intent among Entry-Level Engineering Students Dr. Mark F. Schar (Stanford University), Dr. Sarah L. Billington (Stanford University), and Dr. Sheri D. Sheppard (Stanford University)
  • Students' Perspectives on Homework and Problem Sets in STEM Courses Ms. Lea Marie Eaton (Stanford University), Dr. Sheri D. Sheppard (Stanford University), and Dr. Helen L. Chen (Stanford University)
  • Supporting Change in Entrepreneurship Education: Creating a Faculty Development Program Grounded in Results from a Literature Review Sarah Giersch (Broad-based Knowledge), Dr. Flora P. McMartin (Broad-based Knowledge, LLC), Elizabeth Nilsen (National Collegiate Inventors & Innovators Alliance (NCIIA)), Dr. Sheri Sheppard (Stanford University), and Mr. Phil Weilerstein (National Collegiate Inventors & Innovators Alliance (NCIIA))
  • Does Teaching Matter? Factors that Influence High School Students’ Decisions on Whether to Pursue College STEM Majors Dr. Gary Lichtenstein (Quality Evaluation Designs), Dr. Martin L. Tombari (University of Texas, Austin), Dr. Sheri D. Sheppard (Stanford University), and Ms. Kaye Storm (Stanford University)

To download copies of these papers, visit this link.

A Foundation for Understanding Gender Differences

DEL's very own Helena Scutt recently published a four-part series on understanding gender differences in STEM of the Stanford|Teaching Commons. This excellent resource is based on Helena's award-winning paper, Research-Informed Practices for Inclusive Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM) Classrooms: Strategies for Educators to Close the Gender Gap, presented at the ASEE 2013 annual conference. The four parts include:

Congratulations to Helena!

NCIIA OPEN Conference - March 21-22, 2014

NCIIA 3-14.jpg

DEL members attended the NCIIA 18th annual conference, which is held in partnership with Engineering Pathways or Epicenter at Stanford University. Key presentations by DEL researchers included:

Shannon's Baby Bibliography Shower - February 5, 2014

Shannon Baby.jpg

Our beloved Shannon Gilmartin is having a baby! We celebrated with a baby shower featuring books for a new baby, presented with a bibliography for future reference. We wish Shannon and Jeff the best with their new arrival.

UPDATE: Jeffrey Arthur Cain, born 11:06 pm on 3.20.14 at a robust 9 lbs 8 oz, and 21 inches. "Mom and baby are both healthy, and all three of us are over the moon happy!"

ME Summer Undergraduate Research Institute (SURI) - 2013

SURI 2103.jpg

The DEL SURI's had a productive (and fun!) summer. Pictured above, Lea Eaton (left) and Ruben Pierre-Anotine (right):

Lea and Ruben were assisted by Helen Chen, Samanatha Brunhaver, Mark Schar and Sheri Sheppard.

ASEE Annual Conference - June 23-26, 2013

More than a dozen DEL members and colleagues attended the ASEE annual conference in Atlanta, GA -- our largest group yet! Congratulations to Dr. Mark Schar and team for winning the Entrepreneurship & Innovation Division's Best Teaching Strategies Paper Award, and to Samantha Brunhaver for winning one of five Educational Research Method Division Apprentice Faculty Grant Awards.


DEL "Dreaming and Planning" Retreat - April 18, 2013

Retreat Goals:
1) Share DEL-related research; findings, methods, passions
2) Further connect the local community working on engineering pathways questions
3) Discuss connections between the various projects
4) Identify gaps and opportunities in current pictures of pathways


Small Group Work: Emerging Themes


  • Sheri Sheppard, Gary Lichtenstein, Shannon Gilmartin, Samanatha Brunhaver, Helen Chen, Mark Schar, Heather Malin, Kaye Storm, Sarah Billington and Anthony Antonio.

ME Women's Group

SUMEWG.jpg Mechanical Engineering Women's Group Website

Middle School Robotics Tournament

We hosted a FIRST (For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology) Lego League (FLL) tournament on Sunday, November 11th. FLL is a robotics competition for kids ages 9-14 where teams of kids build a Lego Mindstorms robot to complete specified missions and do a research project where they pick a real-world problem to solve. Michelle Grau was the Tournament Director for this 12-team tournament, Mark Schar was an assistant director and Michelle Warner was the official field timer. The competition involves 4 robot competition rounds for each team, and each team also has 10-minute interviews with three different panels of judges. While the lab does research on college-level engineering education, this is an example of teaching engineering to kids!


MATHCOUNTS provides fun and challenging math programs for US middle school students to increase their academic and professional opportunities. With the generous support of all MATHCOUNTS sponsors, volunteers, Designing Education Lab members, and leadership of the National Society of Professional Engineers at the local and state levels, MATHCOUNTS is providing today’s students with the foundation for success in science, technology, engineering and mathematics careers. MATHCOUNTS, a 501 (c) 3 tax-exempt organization, is a national enrichment, club and competition program that promotes middle school mathematics achievement through grassroots involvement in every U.S. state and territory.

ME Summer Undergraduate Research Institute (SURI) - 2012

SURI2012 Collage.jpg

The DEL SURI's had a productive (and fun!) summer. Pictured above, starting in the upper left, clockwise:

  • Michelle Grau: PEARS School Reports
  • Helena Scutt: Research-Informed Guidelines for Inclusive STEM Classrooms
  • Alethea Atkins: Introduction to Solid Mechanics
  • Rosalinda Cortez: A Qualitative Approach to Researching Engineering Education 
  • Mark Cuson: E-14 Truss Solver, E-14 Vector Math Modules, E-14, Delta Design Online, Longboard Case Study
  • The 2012 SURI's with Professor Sheri Sheppard, Helen Chen and Samantha Brunhaver.

Epicenter Research Workshop - May 21, 2012

EpiDel Reposado.jpg

This research workshop was sponsored by Stanford's Technology Ventures Program (STVP) Epicenter and held on May 21, 2012 at Stanford University.  The workshop explored current research on entrepreneurial skills and abilities with emphasis on undergraduate engineering students. The event was hosted by Sheri Sheppard and Shannon Gilmartin.

Attendees included:

  • Şenay Purzer of Purdue University, who presented a thought-provoking perspective on the nature of innovation and how to "see it live" in student's work;
  • Nathalie Duval of Purdue University, who outlined a plan for big engineering schools to successfully create entrepreneurship programs (and measure the changes);
  • Chuck Eesley of Stanford University, who shared his work on the institutional changes that can affect entrepreneurial outcomes, based on two large survey alumni studies;
  • Bill Lucas of MIT, who presented a compelling case linking self-efficacy with entrepreneurship across a variety of settings, giving us very solid indexes and theoretical basis to build on;
  • Bill Damon, Anne Colby, and Heather Malin of Stanford University, who are in the field with a gigantic Kauffman Foundation-sponsored project examining entrepreneurial activities among college-aged students;
  • Mary Besterfield-Sacre of The University of Pittsburgh, who presented fascinating research on how innovation, entrepreneurship and design might be related, connected and measured;
  • Lawrence Neeley of Olin College, who has rolled up his sleeves and is teaching design-innovation-entrepreneurship to first year students;

We definitely packed a lot into just one day. We shared interesting research, as well as a willingness to present engage in discussion, made it a very productive day. Locally, our next steps are compiling notes from the day, then starting to synthesize themes and candidate research treads. As these materials come together, we will post them in this area.

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