June 20, 2010
June 20, 2010
June 23, 2010
K-12 & Pre-College Engineering
15.66.1 - 15.66.17
A New High School Teacher Engineering Awareness Program: Increasing the STEM Pipeline
In June 2009, the College of Engineering’s Office for Diversity Programs at Louisiana State University (LSU) and the LSU Center for Scientific, Technological, Engineering and Mathematical Literacy hosted the first annual High School Teacher Engineering Awareness Program (HSTEAP). Funded by Marathon Oil Corporation, HSTEAP was developed by faculty and staff of LSU and hired facilitators. The Office for Diversity Programs at LSU instituted HSTEAP to help Louisiana science and mathematics teachers build an engineering infrastructure of knowledge and understanding, thereby promoting and strengthening the positive image of engineering and increasing interest in the high school classroom.
The program consisted of a series of one week mini-workshops on the fundamentals of engineering and exposure of different engineering disciplines. Same-school math and science teacher pairs from rural, suburban and urban areas of Louisiana were selected for the program. The purpose of choosing a same-school math and science teacher pair was for them to co-teach the same activity in their respective classrooms, so students would be able to see the immediate math and science connection in engineering. Participants completed pre- and post-content tests that determined their knowledge and understanding of basic engineering principles, as well as pre- and post-assessments of their confidence levels to authentically introduce and apply engineering concepts in their classrooms. At the end of the program, there was significant improvement in overall teacher understanding of engineering and the confidence to teach certain engineering concepts to students. Teachers also completed a closed- and open-ended to survey during the middle of the fall 2010 semester, in which they shared their changes in classroom practice and student outcomes due to their participation in HSTEAP.
After the program, the teachers received a participation stipend, materials, and a travel award to attend the Louisiana science and math conferences in which they shared their HSTEAP and high school classroom engineering experiences.
Corporations and higher education systems across the country are hosting engineering professional development workshops to educate secondary school teachers about engineering1-5. Their hope is to excite and empower their teachers, so they will in turn excite and empower their students, therefore, increasing the science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) pipeline1-5. By developing their expertise and the appropriate strategies, teachers will be better prepared to incorporate engineering-based applications and concepts in their math and science courses. Increasing the STEM pipeline also means introducing STEM concepts, majors and careers to a more diverse audience.
In 2008, the National Action Council for Minorities in Engineering (NACME) released a report showing a growing opportunity gap in the number of minority students pursuing degrees and
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