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A Standards-Based Tool for Middle School Teachers to Engage Students in STEM Fields

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2014 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition


Indianapolis, Indiana

Publication Date

June 15, 2014

Start Date

June 15, 2014

End Date

June 18, 2014



Conference Session

K-12 Engineering Resources: Best Practices in Curriculum Design, Part 1 of 2

Tagged Division

K-12 & Pre-College Engineering

Page Count


Page Numbers

24.105.1 - 24.105.11



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Paper Authors


Smitesh Bakrania Rowan University

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Dr. Smitesh Bakrania is an associate professor in Mechanical Engineering at Rowan University. He received his Ph.D. from University of Michigan in 2008 and his B.S. from Union College in 2003. His research interests include combustion synthesis of nanoparticles and combustion catalysis using nanoparticles. He is also involved in developing educational apps for instructional and research purposes.

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Krishan Kumar Bhatia Rowan University


Kauser Jahan Rowan University

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Kauser Jahan completed her Ph.D. studies in the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering at the University of Minnesota, Minneapolis in 1993. She holds a B.S. degree in civil engineering from the Bangladesh University of Engineering and Technology and an M.S.C.E. from the University of
Arkansas, Fayetteville. After completion of her graduate studies, she worked as an environmental engineer for the Nevada Division of Environmental Protection (NDEP). Her research interests include bioremediation of contaminated groundwater and soils; the fate and transport of pollutants in the environment;biodegradation of industrial and municipal wastewaters; physicochemical treatment of water and
wastewater treatment; applied microbiology in environmental engineering. She is also active in K-12 STEM initiatives.

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A standards-based tool for middle school teachers to engage students in STEM fieldsMiddle school teachers play an instrumental role in promoting student interest in science andengineering fields. Studies have shown that engaging students early on can inspire students topursue degrees in STEM fields for higher education. This work focussed on providing middleschool teachers with resources to engage students using hands-on activities and demonstrationsdirectly related to the state science standards. During the Fall 2012 term, a library of briefhistorical perspective, applications and activities was generated for 8th grade physical sciencestandards. The demonstrations and activities were specifically selected to promote interest andengage students. Beginning Spring 2013, video demonstrations were produced to assist contentpreparation. Concomitantly, the resources were designed to be accessible as a database on an iOSdevice such as iPhone, iPod Touch or an iPad. In particular, an app was designed to deliver thecontent with the ability to track progress. The app serves as a powerful reference and a guide forteachers to integrate science and engineering activities within their curriculum. Towards the endof June 2013 a workshop was organized for teachers to provide feedback on the project and testthe beta version of the app. The project and the app were favorably received from workshopattendees, with several of the teachers requesting early access to the database for the 2013-2014school year. In addition, crucial feedback and insight was collected from the focus groupdiscussions following the app demonstration. It is expected as teachers begin to use the app andthe content within, feedback and contributions from user community will further improve thequality and breadth of the content.

Bakrania, S., & Bhatia, K. K., & Jahan, K. (2014, June), A Standards-Based Tool for Middle School Teachers to Engage Students in STEM Fields Paper presented at 2014 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, Indianapolis, Indiana. 10.18260/1-2--19997

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