Dr. Lisa Beymer
Our team of undergraduate teacher-researchers collaborated with interdisciplinary peers to design 3D printed individualized Assistive Technology (AT) supports for high school students with significant disabilities. Our mission was to increase student access to their educational environment while also improving ourselves as future teachers, researchers, and advocates. A self-study was conducted with a primary purpose of identifying themes in our research experiences, with a secondary purpose toward discovering themes in our reflection to guide similar interdisciplinary projects in the future. Qualitative data was collected from research journals and focus group interviews. Data was then analyzed for common themes that represented trends in our experiences of becoming researchers, and the impact this project had on our development as future teachers. We discovered that common themes of extrinsic vs. intrinsic motivation were consistently present across the data set, yet evolved over time. We consistently agreed on extrinsic benefits of the project, e.g. professional opportunity, hands-on experience, building professional relationships. We also agreed upon intrinsic benefits of the project, e.g. meaningful relationships with students and peers, supporting student needs, professional development. This experience also solidified our desire to advocate for people with differing needs in our personal and professional lives.
Fritz, Joseph T.; Dillon, Maggie; Heilbrun, Kierstyn; and Beymer, Lisa, "Becoming Teacher Researchers: Using 3D Printing to Create Individualized Assistive Technology for High School Students with Disabilities" (2020). 2020 Undergraduate Research Showcase. 59.