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A Middle School Project For Science And Math Enhancement Through Engineering

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2009 Annual Conference & Exposition


Austin, Texas

Publication Date

June 14, 2009

Start Date

June 14, 2009

End Date

June 17, 2009



Conference Session

Engineering in the Middle Grades

Tagged Division

K-12 & Pre-College Engineering

Page Count


Page Numbers

14.57.1 - 14.57.19



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Paper Authors

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Karen High Oklahoma State University


Becky Hammack Stillwater Middle School

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REBEKAH HAMMACK earned a B.S. in Agriculture from The Ohio State University in 1998 and a M.S. in Animal Science from Oklahoma State University in 2003. Rebekah completed the requirements for teacher certification at Oklahoma State University in 2004. Rebekah is a seventh grade science teacher at Stillwater Middle School, where she has been since 2005. Rebekah helps facilitate the after school engineering mentoring program at Stillwater Middle School and plans and teaches the school’s Engineering Summer Camps. Rebekah also serves as the Northeast District Director of the Oklahoma Science Teachers’ Association and is currently pursuing National Board Certification in Early Adolescent Science.

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Beth Watt Stillwater Middle School

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BETH WATT earned her B.S. degrees in 2000 and 2001, and her M.S. in 2008, from Oklahoma State University. She is a sixth grade science teacher at Stillwater Middle School, who is also active in the Oklahoma Science Teachers Association. She strives to teach her students collaboration and problem-solving skills through interdisciplinary design challenges. She has been integral in implementing the engineering program in the Stillwater school system, and searches for ways to help other schools implement similar programs.

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Julie Thomas Oklahoma State University

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JULIE THOMAS earned her Ph.D. (1995) from the University of Nebraska in Curriculum and Instruction with Emphasis in Science Education. Dr. Thomas is a Professor and is currently serving as the Frank and Carol Morsani Endowed Chair of Science Education at Oklahoma State University. Her research and teaching focus on developing teachers’ knowledge and skills for teaching science. Dr. Thomas’s most current research focuses on engineering education as a nexus for improved science learning and STEM career awareness. This research and other collaborative efforts undergird a new Center for Research on STEM Teaching and Learning at Oklahoma State University.

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Adrienne Redmond Oklahoma State University

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ADRIENNE REDMOND earned her B.S. in Elementary Education from Oklahoma State University in 2000 and her M.A. in Curriculum and Instruction in 2003. She is currently working on her Ph.D. in Professional Education with an emphasis in mathematics education at Oklahoma State University. She has taught mathematics methods courses at to elementary education majors since 2006. She is scheduled to complete her Ph.D. in December of 2009. Her main research interests are the teaching and learning of fractions, algebra readiness, communication in the mathematics classroom, equity issues in mathematics education, and increasing the number of girls and minorities in the STEM fields.

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Pat Jordan

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Jean Dockers Oklahoma State University

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NOTE: The first page of text has been automatically extracted and included below in lieu of an abstract

A Middle School Project for Science and Math Enhancement through Engineering Abstract

This study is focused on the impact of curricular and extra curricular engineering-based instructional activities on middle students’ perceptions of their ability to become engineers. Middle school students are at an age where high interest activities are essential for motivation and relevant learning. This is also the age where students’ interest can be piqued to consider careers in STEM fields. This study also looks at math content knowledge, attitudes toward math and science, and perceptions of technology, engineering, and what defines engineering.

In 2007, the Stillwater Middle School received a $15,000 grant from the Stillwater Public Education Foundation to start an engineering program for sixth- and seventh-grade students. The grant allowed the middle school to partner with Oklahoma State University to develop a multi- faceted engineering program. Through this partnership between the middle school and local university, three primary instructors have developed, coordinated, and conducted the majority of the components of the program. The ideas and initiative behind the program were proposed and enacted by a chemical engineering professor at Oklahoma State University, who is also highly involved in the pre-service teacher program at the university as well as several engineering education initiatives at her university. She has partnered with two middle school science instructors to develop, fund, conduct, and expand the engineering program at the middle school.

The Enriching Science and Math through Engineering project consists of the following three components for students with an embedded teacher professional development program for middle school teachers. A Curriculum Integration project has sixth and seventh grade core team teachers (math, science, social studies, and language arts) using existing and new integrated engineering modules during school. The new modules were developed by the teachers working with engineering and education professors. A Summer Camp is an engineering project based program for 6th and 7th grade students delivered by two science teachers with support from an engineering professor. An After School Mentoring Program that meets once a week for 45 sixth and seventh grade girls. The College of Engineering provided mentors to support the students in understanding engineering and to encourage them to consider engineering careers. Middle school students participate in engineering projects that were age appropriate and encouraged problem solving, creativity and collaborative learning, as well as meet professional engineering women. Seventh grade girls served as cross-age mentors for sixth grade girls in addition to the college level mentors. In 2007, the engineering professor was the lead for the project. In 2008, the two middle school science teachers are providing project leadership.

A variety of instruments were administered to determine mathematics and science content knowledge changes, knowledge about engineering and technology and the impact the instructional activities had on overall student perceptions. Results have shown positive impact of the interventions.

High, K., & Hammack, B., & Watt, B., & Thomas, J., & Redmond, A., & Jordan, P., & Dockers, J. (2009, June), A Middle School Project For Science And Math Enhancement Through Engineering Paper presented at 2009 Annual Conference & Exposition, Austin, Texas. 10.18260/1-2--5253

ASEE holds the copyright on this document. It may be read by the public free of charge. Authors may archive their work on personal websites or in institutional repositories with the following citation: © 2009 American Society for Engineering Education. Other scholars may excerpt or quote from these materials with the same citation. When excerpting or quoting from Conference Proceedings, authors should, in addition to noting the ASEE copyright, list all the original authors and their institutions and name the host city of the conference. - Last updated April 1, 2015