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A Combined Engineering And Education Class At The University Of Oklahoma: Preparing Authentic Science And Math Educators

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2002 Annual Conference


Montreal, Canada

Publication Date

June 16, 2002

Start Date

June 16, 2002

End Date

June 19, 2002



Conference Session

K-12 Outreach Initiatives

Page Count


Page Numbers

7.21.1 - 7.21.12



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Paper Authors

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Mary John O'Hair

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Mark Nanny

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Teri Rhoads

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Session 2530

A Combined Engineering and Education Class at the University of Oklahoma: Preparing Authentic Science and Math Educators

Teri Reed Rhoadsa, Mark Nannyb, and Mary John O’Hair c

The University of Oklahoma a School of Industrial Engineering b School of Civil and Environmental Engineering c Center for Educational and Community Renewal and the College of Education

Abstract One result of the receipt of a National Science Foundation Graduate K-12 Fellows grant at the University of Oklahoma is a combined engineering and education class. The goal of this upper division or graduate credit course is to prepare authentic science and math educators by providing both the educational theory and the scientific knowledge to prepare authentic classroom exercises in the K-12 environment. This paper reviews the course demographics, goals, content, and execution of the first offering of this course in fall of 2001. A discussion of the combination of education majors with engineering majors and a presentation of a combined curriculum is presented. This course is not only a model for other NSF GK-12 projects, but other universities interested in bridging the gap between education and engineering.

I. Introduction

In March of 2001, the National Science Foundation awarded 24 projects nation-wide in its Graduate Fellow K-12 (GK-12) program. Of those awarded, 5 states received two awards. The University of Oklahoma is the only institution to have received two awards – the Authentic Teaching Alliance (ATA) and Adventure Engineering (AE). The long term goals of the initiative are to increase the number of secondary math and science teachers, increase the number of secondary students choosing careers in science engineering and technology, and increase the public’s science and math knowledge.

A potential shortage of qualified K-12 teachers is a looming educational crisis. The National Center for Education Statistics estimates, for the coming decade, a teacher attrition rate of 7% and 12% in public and private schools respectively. The “graying” of the current teaching force, and the strong economy luring teachers away to more lucrative fields causes this attrition. Other Proceedings of the 2002 American Society for Engineering Education Annual Conference & Exposition Copyright Ó 2002, American Society for Engineering Education

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O'Hair, M. J., & Nanny, M., & Rhoads, T. (2002, June), A Combined Engineering And Education Class At The University Of Oklahoma: Preparing Authentic Science And Math Educators Paper presented at 2002 Annual Conference, Montreal, Canada. 10.18260/1-2--10303

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