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A Transformative Apprentice Research STEM Program

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2015 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition


Seattle, Washington

Publication Date

June 14, 2015

Start Date

June 14, 2015

End Date

June 17, 2015





Conference Session

Research to Practice: STRAND 4 – K-12 Engineering Resources: Best Practices in Curriculum Design (Part 1)

Tagged Division

K-12 & Pre-College Engineering

Tagged Topic


Page Count


Page Numbers

26.128.1 - 26.128.9



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Paper Authors


Mohamad Musavi University of Maine

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Dr. Mohamad Musavi is the Associate Dean of the College of Engineering at the University of Maine. Previously, he was the chair and professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering Department. He has 32 years of experience in STEM and engineering education, smart grid and power systems, intelligent systems, robotics, and computer vision. He received his MS and PhD degrees in Electrical Engineering from the University of Michigan in 1979 and 1983. Dr. Musavi is a Senior Member of the IEEE and the 2015 recipient of the IEEE-USA STEM Literacy Educator-Engineer Award. He has over 125 scientific publications and 45 federal and industry grants, and has trained 47 graduate and over 50 undergraduate students on research projects.

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Cary Edward James Bangor High School

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Mr. Cary James has a BS in chemistry and an MS in Plant Pathology. He has received numerous teaching awards including the Siemens Award for Advanced Placement Teacher of the Year for Maine 2009, Pulp and Paper Foundation Maine Teacher Award 2009, New England Institute of Chemistry Maine State Teacher Award 2011, New England Water Environmental Association Public Educator Award 2013, and has received the Francis Crowe Society Honorary Engineering Degree from the University of Maine 2010. Recently he presented a lecture on High School Students as Water Researchers at the Climate Change and the Future of Water Conference in Abu Dhabi. His students have excelled in many national and international level science competitions including the 2010 National Stockholm Junior Water Prize (SJWP) winner and the 2011 Bjorn von Euler Innovation in Water Scholarship winner. Both students represented the United States at the International SJWP in Stockholm Sweden. Mr. James has a passion for improving the quality of water for people in developing countries and has focused student research on water sanitation and conservation. In the classroom he works to differentiate instruction for students using an evidenced based inquiry approach.

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A Transformative Apprentice Research STEM Program (RTP – Strand 4)Abstract – This paper presents a Transformative Apprentice Research (TAR) STEM program forhigh school students. The TAR-STEM program consists of a long term research component anda supportive and rigorous STEM curriculum. The curriculum consists of three distinctcomponents: 1) existing science, mathematics, and other core/elective courses such as would befound in a traditional high school program, 2) three specialized courses that include anintroduction to research method and two Technology and Engineering courses, and 3) aUniversity- or industry-based research mentorship that starts in the summer of the 10th gradeculminating in a senior capstone project. The research method class in 10th grade is designed toprovide sophomore students in the program with a vital, year long, full-emersion experience intothe processes and activities involved with scientific and engineering research. The firsttechnology and engineering course, also in 10th grade, introduces students to the technologicaltools and the application of those tools in science and engineering. MATLAB software is usedto learn the basics of programming, how to analyze data, develop algorithms, and create modelsand applications in an interactive environment. The second technology and engineering course,in the 11th grade, introduces students to science and engineering practices through modern,hands-on experiments. Students will apply programming and electronics knowledge to theRaspberry Pi computer and interface with a variety of sensors for real world data collection forrobotics platforms for understanding basic concepts in kinetics, control, programming, intelligentsystems and other similar projects related to engineering solutions for environmental issues andrenewable energy. These courses integrate a wide variety of university- and industry-basedresearch topics as students participate in their research mentorship. The TAR-STEM programhas been developed and implemented by a research University College of Engineering and apublic high school. This program promotes students’ learning of science and engineeringpractices as envisioned by the NRC Framework and recommended by the Next GenerationScience Standards (NGSS). The TAR-STEM students have demonstrated a greater appreciationand enrollment in science and engineering disciplines.

Musavi, M., & James, C. E. (2015, June), A Transformative Apprentice Research STEM Program Paper presented at 2015 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, Seattle, Washington. 10.18260/p.23469

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