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2013 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition


Atlanta, Georgia

Publication Date

June 23, 2013

Start Date

June 23, 2013

End Date

June 26, 2013



Conference Session

Materials Division Poster Session

Tagged Division


Page Count


Page Numbers

23.67.1 - 23.67.13



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Paper Authors


Peter R Hondred Iowa State University

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Peter R. Hondred is a graduate student in materials science and engineering at Iowa State University under the direction of Michael R. Kessler. He earned his B.S. in Engineering with a Mechanical emphasis as well as a minor in Chemistry from Dordt College in 2008. Hondred’s graduate research has involved the development of mathematical models that represent the thermal degradation of wire insulation polymers. Currently, he is working on biorenewable bases plastics for self-healing applications.

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Denise Crawford Iowa State University

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Dr. Denise Crawford is associate professor and director of the Center for Technology in Learning and Teaching in the School of Education at Iowa State University.

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Debbie Ann Victor Des Moines Independent Schools

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Mrs. Debbie Victor has been a teacher with the Des Moines Public School system since 1987. She currently teaches 8th grade science at McCombs Middle School in Des Moines, Iowa.

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Michael R. Kessler Iowa State University Orcid 16x16

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Dr. Michael Kessler is an associate professor of Materials Science and Engineering at Iowa State University. He studies polymers and composite materials. Dr. Kessler is the program chair for the Materials Division of ASEE.

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A MATERIALS ENGINEER’S APPROACH TO EXPLAINING SCIENTIFIC PROBLEMS IN AN 8TH GRADE CLASSROOM: A CASE STUDYABSTRACT The ______ public school system has partnered with _________ to develop innovative and engagingSTEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) activities for middle school students through NSF’sGK12 program. _____ GK12 program, ______, pairs a senior graduate student (i.e., GK12 Fellow) with amiddle school science teacher and classroom for the duration of the academic year. These GK12 Fellowsengage the students by providing inquiry-based learning experiences and authentic demonstrations, whichbring relevance by relating the science curriculum to real world challenges. Each Fellow’s researchbackground provides a unique venue for enhancing the classroom curricula. Here we present a case studyshowcasing the activities and interactions of one _______ GK12 Fellow in the classroom who usesalternative ways to approach the science curriculum by addressing complex problems through the lens ofa materials engineer. In this case study, the primary research focus of the author, a GK12 Fellow, is onmaterials science and engineering, specifically polymers, a field completely absent from middle schoolcurricula. By providing hands on demonstrations and reliable scientific expertise, 8 th grade students havethe opportunity to experience science as a comprehensive field and not as a collection of discreetunrelated units. Through focus group study, students expressed their enthusiasm and interest in theexciting concepts being brought to the classroom. These results suggest that middle school studentsbenefit from taking an integrated approach to science using materials science and engineering as thescaffolding for its implementation.

Hondred, P. R., & Crawford, D., & Victor, D. A., & Kessler, M. R. (2013, June), A MATERIALS ENGINEER’S APPROACH TO EXPLAINING SCIENTIFIC PROBLEMS IN AN 8TH GRADE CLASSROOM: A CASE STUDY Paper presented at 2013 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, Atlanta, Georgia. 10.18260/1-2--19081

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