June 14, 2009
June 14, 2009
June 17, 2009
K-12 & Pre-College Engineering
14.57.1 - 14.57.19
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. https://peer.asee.org/5253
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