Virtual On line
June 22, 2020
June 22, 2020
June 26, 2021
Pre-College Engineering Education
The global economy is changing vis-à-vis technological advances. In order to keep up with the needs of industry and the latest innovations, all students must be prepared to enter science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) careers. Higher education is critical in preparing the next generation of STEM professionals however, when precollege students are not prepared to tackle the rigor and/or are alienated from STEM due to their K—12 experiences this lack of preparedness affects innovation. Therefore, supporting teachers expand their engineering knowledge through research experiences and collaborating with them to come up with authentic, hands-on lessons could have positive effects in STEM teaching and learning.
To address this challenge, we developed a teacher professional development (PD) program and a toolkit consisting of a hardware and software system to engage New York City STEM teachers who work with urban students-of-color in learning about wireless technology through various hands-on activities and collaborative research. The PD relates to the Cloud Enhanced Open Software Defined Mobile Wireless Testbed for City-Scale Deployment (COSMOS) testbed that is being deployed in West Harlem (New York City) and to the NSF ERFI NewLAW project which focuses on wireless communication. The PD program took place in Summers 2018 and 2019 within the frameworks of Research Experience for Teachers (RET) and Research Experience and Mentoring (REM) programs. Throughout the PD program, researchers along with teachers, co-created lessons aligned to the K—12 national standards called the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS). Each standard called Performance Expectation (PE), incorporates the three-dimensional learning: Crosscutting Concepts (CCCs), Disciplinary Core Ideas (DCIs), and Science and Engineering Practices (SEPs). This teacher PD consists of six-week long summer program, which introduces ten participants to authentic wireless technology engineering experiences. The PD program is divided into two phases: (i) a two-week structured learning phase, during which the ten teachers attend lectures and perform hands-on experiments related to wireless communications. The scope of this phase is for participants to learn and understand the fundamental and some advanced concepts on wireless networks, digital communications, and internet-of-things (IoT), which focuses on the NGSS, PEs: MS-PS4.1-3 (Identify the characteristics of waves from the mathematical representation, and analyze the relationship of energy in terms of amplitude and frequency; Identify the type of the waves in nature, and how the characteristics change when they interact with materials; Conduct independent research on the claim that ‘digitized signals are a more reliable way to encode and transmit information than analog signals’); (ii) a four-week research phase, during which the teachers collaborate in research labs at NYU and Columbia and present their findings to receive feedback.
The outcomes of this program are the following: (i) The participants gained in-depth knowledge of the concept of electromagnetic wave propagation, resulting in the development of NGSS-aligned lucrative engineering labs that students will be exposed to during the academic year in their STEM courses; (ii) development of a hardware and software system that provides the necessary infrastructure for the lessons. The software is enhanced with an easy-to-use philosophy on the execution and management of the experiments since it was designed for K–12 teachers. Through follow-up sessions over the academic year, teachers will receive support for executing the experiments and implementing new engineering-based lessons. This paper will describe the teacher PD, the NGSS lessons created, and full description of the hardware and software system which teachers used to teach STEM.
Skrimponis, P., & Makris, N., & Cheng, K., & Ostrometzky, J., & Kostic, Z., & Zussman, G., & Korakis, T., & Borges Rajguru, S. (2020, June), A Teacher Professional Development Program Using Wireless Communications and NGSS to Enhance STEM Teaching and Learning Paper presented at 2020 ASEE Virtual Annual Conference Content Access, Virtual On line . 10.18260/1-2--34073
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