June 26, 2011
June 26, 2011
June 29, 2011
Energy Conversion and Conservation
22.118.1 - 22.118.14
A 2-Year Case Study: Assessing the Impact of Active Learning on Elementary School Students During GK-12 Outreach Administered Energy ClubsAbstractActive learning during GK-12 outreach administered Energy Clubs can positively affect studentsin grades 3-5 by improving their understanding of technology, what engineers do, theengineering design process, and how to improve a windmill. Last year, the impact was assessedthrough a pre- and posttest from the Engineering is Elementary workbook, “Catching theWind.” After completing one activity where the students built windmills out of milk cartons,there were positive improvements ranging from 3% to 8% in their understanding of technology,what engineers do and the engineering design process. Significant gains (p < 0.05) were made inunderstanding how to improve a windmill where all the clubs had double-digit growth with anoverall improvement of 26%.These results were very promising and further work has been done to refine the experimentprotocol in order to repeat the experiment with a new group of students in grades 3-5participating in Energy Clubs. The same pre- and posttest will be used to collect data and assessimpact. The goal will be to reject the null hypothesis: Hands-on engineering activities duringGK-12 outreach administered Energy Clubs do not result in a better understanding oftechnology, what engineers do, the engineering design process, or how to improve a windmill.The outreach program is a GE Foundation and National Science Foundation funded GK-12Outreach Program at the University and has established Energy Clubs at two, local, inner-cityelementary schools for the 2010-2011 school year. A program Graduate Fellow with assistancefrom Undergraduate Fellows and Teachers facilitates the Energy Clubs. These clubs provide anopportunity for students in grades 3-5 to meet outside of regularly scheduled class time to learnabout renewable energy, water purification, energy conservation and recycling. The facilitatorutilizes a combination of original activities and Engineering is Elementary activities during thefall semester. The spring semester is spent designing and building solar cars in preparation forthe Junior Solar Sprint held on campus in May.
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