A4 Conference proceedings

Understanding better young people's views on technology in Finland

Open Access publication

Publication Details
Authors: Naukkarinen Johanna, Niemelä Hanna
Publication year: 2020
Language: English
Related Journal or Series Information: ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition Proceedings
Title of parent publication: 2020 ASEE Virtual Annual Conference Content Access
Journal acronym: ASEE Annual Conference
ISSN: 2153-5965
eISSN: 2153-5868
JUFO-Level of this publication: 1
Permanent website address: https://peer.asee.org/35418
Open Access: Open Access publication


Several studies have reported that there are groups among young people
that view technology differently from each other and also have different
motives for studying engineering. In order to better understand what
kinds of young people are attracted to engineering in Finland, we
conducted a survey on different aspects of young people’s relationship
to technology. The survey was administered to three different groups of
relatively similar ages and other demographics. The first group of
respondents consisted of students that had just started their studies
towards a B.Sc. in Mechanical, Electrical, Environmental, or Energy
engineering (N=133). The second group comprised secondary high school
students that attended a university course in Basic Electronics in three
consecutive years (N=100). These students were motivated to study this
technology-related topic but did not necessarily intend to pursue a
career in engineering. The respondents in the last group (N=210) were
secondary high school students who participated in different class
visits to the university (not necessarily out of their own free will)
and thus did not share a particular interest in technology or
engineering. A factor analysis of the survey data yielded three somewhat
distinct profiles in relation to technology, and a statistical analysis
revealed differences between both the groups and the genders. The
results give insights into what kinds of technology-related views and
experiences may draw people to engineering and what, on the other hand,
may push them out.
The data and results of the survey are of use when promoting the role of
engineering and shaping young people’s views on technology. In this
work, the course in Basic Electronics and other similar educational
actions that give a glimpse into engineering studies can be used as
promotional material and to provide positive experiences through
technology-related activities. For this purpose, the survey provides
useful data when developing the course and targeting potential students
in the future. The survey also has wider implications for raising
awareness and increasing understanding of the forces and factors driving
young people in today’s world.

Research Areas

Last updated on 2020-13-07 at 14:50