The Cognition of Construction is the study of cognitive processes involved in construction activities. Our Ph.D candidates are focused on developing an assessment of people's intuitive understanding of everyday devices as control systems that have input and output.
Hands-on construction experiences can offer students a way to learn valued STEM academic content while developing a more refined understanding of the technological world around them. Cognition of Construction refers to the study of cognitive processes involved in these activities. For example, we are developing assessments of people's intuitive understanding of everyday devices as control systems that have input and output. After completing a two-week after-school fabrication and robotics design workshop, a group of high-schoolers was more able to identify the sensors, actuators, and logical control rules that animate everyday devices like a blender or a car alarm.
As we continue to examine the results and prepare for new studies, early data suggest that construction experiences help students to understand the nature of everyday devices, and point to new directions for assessing computational thinking and engineering knowledge.