June 20, 2010
June 20, 2010
June 23, 2010
15.15.1 - 15.15.13
A Collaborative Effort to Teach Technology and Engineering Concepts to Middle School and High School Students in the Dominican Republic
MACILE - (Matemáticas, Ciencias, Ingeniería y Lenguaje or Mathematics, Sciences, Engineering, and Language) is a Complex Systems Optimization Lab (COSOLA) education program that advances engineering and science education in less advantaged communities in the Dominican Republic (DR). Two core objectives of MACILE are: (1) to develop solutions to optimally increase access to challenging and stimulating learning environments and quality MACILE resources; and (2) to nurture talented young people from less privileged backgrounds. It is hoped that these students will then rise to the highest educational standards, pursue studies and careers in mathematics, science, and engineering fields, and make a difference in the world - creating opportunities to further advance science and technology in their countries and communities and to promote sustainable development.
MACILE started in 2007 in the Hitavo-Nigua (Ytabo) region of the DR. Ytabo is approximately 20 miles southwest of the capital, Santo Domingo. The region includes six towns with an estimated student population of 11,800 (from informal records). The median monthly income is less than US$150. On average, parents have completed through the 5th level of primary school (Survey, 2007). Less than 50% of students completing 8th grade continue to high school and less than 60% of those entering high school graduate. MACILE in Ytabo is currently a summer program. A year-around program is scheduled to start in 2011. The summer program was piloted in 2007 and 2008. The observations regarding the summer program are presented in other parts of this paper.
This paper reports on a collaborative effort between COSOLA and the Technology and Engineering Education (TEE) Program at Brigham Young University (BYU) to design a science and technology program to train in-service Dominican teachers and improve student skills. This collaboration initiated in 2009, following a request from the Director of COSOLA. In the summer of 2009, two members of the faculty of TEE, Dr. Ron Terry and Dr. Steve Shumway, visited the DR and spent three days training the teachers and observing the conditions. They presented several classes in technology and engineering to teachers and students. Despite language limitations, their work was enthusiastically received. In 2010 students and faculty from TEE will return to the DR to continue their work with MACILE. Their experience and future plans are presented below.
MACILE- Ytabo includes six parts: • Summer Outreach Program for 6-9 grade students • Summer Research Experience for high school juniors and seniors • Scholarship • Teacher Development Institute • Preparatory School
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