A descriptive study of the effect of K-12 design education on changes in self-esteem

Kaylin Broussard, Lauren Murphy, Katherine Kai-Se Fu


This research explores the hypothesis that introducing K-12 students to design education has the potential to introduce students to skills that are integral and vital to being a strong designer, with particular attention to self-esteem. A new K-12 design curriculum has been developed to explore this hypothesis. This paper presents an assessment of the impact of the design education curriculum on K-12 students’ self-esteem, both presented and self-reported. Self-reported and presented student self-esteem measurements indicate no correlation with one another. Over the course of the curriculum, self-reported self-esteem increased slightly overall. Indicators for high presented self-esteem showed overall increases in individuals. The presented low self-esteem measurements stayed nearly constant over the course of the study. These preliminary results suggest formalized methods for assessing student outcomes in the context of design education research. Providing evidence that shows a correlation between design education and self-esteem builds a case for design education as a valid teaching tool, and opens the discussion for design as mechanism to address new educational demands.

Keywords: Design education, Design learning, Research methodologies and methods, K-12 design education, Self-esteem assessment


Broussard, K., Murphy, L., Fu, K., “A Descriptive study of the effect of k-12 design education on changes in Self-esteem in Children ages 8-13,” International Conference on Engineering Design, Vancouver, B.C., Canada, August 21-25, 2017.


Evaluation of lunar regolith geopolymer binder as a radioactive shielding material for space exploration applications

Carlos Montes, Kaylin Broussard, Matthew Gongre, Neven Simicevic, Johanna Mejia, Jessica Tham, Erez Allouche, Gabrielle Davis


Future manned missions to the moon will require the ability to build structures using the moon’s natural resources. The geopolymer binder described in this paper (Lunamer) is a construction material that consists of up to 98% lunar regolith, drastically reducing the amount of material that must be carried from Earth in the event of lunar construction. This material could be used to fabricate structural panels and interlocking blocks that have radiation shielding and thermal insulation characteristics. These panels and blocks could be used to construct living quarters and storage facilities on the lunar surface, or as shielding panels to be installed on crafts launched from the moon surface to deep-space destinations. Lunamer specimens were manufactured in the laboratory and compressive strength results of up to 16 MPa when cast with conventional methods and 37 MPa when cast using uniaxial pressing were obtained. Simulation results have shown that the mechanical and chemical properties of Lunamer allow for adequate radiation shielding for a crew inside the lunar living quarters without additional requirements.

Keywords: Moon construction; Geopolymer; Lunar regolith; Radiation protection; Concrete; Inorganic polymer