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A Two-Year Case Study: Assessing the Impact of Active Learning on Elementary School Students during GK-12 Outreach Administered Energy Clubs

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Conference

2011 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition

Location

Vancouver, BC

Publication Date

June 26, 2011

Start Date

June 26, 2011

End Date

June 29, 2011

ISSN

2153-5965

Conference Session

Sustainability, Diversity, and STEM in Contemporary Energy Education

Tagged Division

Energy Conversion and Conservation

Page Count

14

Page Numbers

22.118.1 - 22.118.14

Permanent URL

https://peer.asee.org/17400

Download Count

19

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Paper Authors

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Lynn Albers North Carolina State University

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Lynn Albers received her B.S. in Mathematics with a minor in Music from MIT in 1992 and her M.S. in Mechanical Engineering with a minor in Nuclear Engineering from Manhattan College in 1996. After working for Nortel Networks and the North Carolina Solar Center, Lynn matriculated at North Carolina State University where she is a Ph.D. candidate in Mechanical Engineering. Her dissertation spans the Colleges of Engineering and Education and is the first of its kind for NCSU.

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biography

Laura Bottomley North Carolina State University

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Laura Bottomley received a B.S. in Electrical Engineering in 1984 and an M.S. in Electrical Engineering in 1985 from Virginia Tech. She received her Ph D. in Electrical and Computer Engineering from North Carolina State University in 1992.

Dr. Bottomley worked at AT&T Bell Laboratories as a member of technical staff in Transmission Systems from 1985 to 1987, during which time she worked in ISDN standards, including representing Bell Labs on an ANSI standards committee for physical layer ISDN standards. She received an Exceptional Contribution Award for her work during this time.

After receiving her Ph D., Dr. Bottomley worked as a faculty member at Duke University and consulted with a number of companies, such as Lockheed Martin, IBM, and Ericsson. In 1997, she became a faculty member at NC State University and became the Director of Women in Engineering and K-12 Outreach. She has taught classes at the university from the freshman level to the graduate level, and outside the university from the kindergarten level to the high school level.

Dr. Bottomley has authored or co-authored 37 technical papers, including papers in such diverse journals as the IEEE Industry Applications Magazine and the Hungarian Journal of Telecommunications. She received the President's Award for Excellence in Mathematics, Science, and Engineering Mentoring program award in 1999 and individual award in 2007. She was recognized by the IEEE with an EAB Meritorious Achievement Award in Informal Education in 2009 and by the YWCA with an appointment to the Academy of Women for Science and Technology in 2008. Her program received the WEPAN Outstanding Women in Engineering Program Award in 2009. Her work was featured on the National Science Foundation Discoveries web site. She is a member of Sigma Xi, past chair of the K-12 and Precollege Division of the American Society of Engineering Educators and a Senior Member of the IEEE.

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Amber C. Spolarich North Carolina State University

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Amber Spolarich is currently a senior at North Carolina State University majoring in chemical engineering with a concentration in green chemistry. She has worked with outreach programs through the university that have placed her in local public schools to act as a resource for science, math, and engineering related courses in the hopes of elevating excitement for learning in K-12 classrooms. She has also conducted research in conjunction with the Vanderbilt Instruction in Biomedical Engineering for Secondary science (VIBES) program which aids high school teachers in bringing engineering education into their classrooms

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Clair Ellen-Ann Wilson RAMP-UP

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I work with RAMP-UP as an Undergraduate Fellow.

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Laura Elizabeth Ganson North Carolina State University

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Laura Ganson is majoring in Secondary Science Education with a concentration in Physics. She also works with RAMP-UP as an Undergraduate Fellow.

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Abstract

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.”[2] 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.

Albers, L., & Bottomley, L., & Spolarich, A. C., & Wilson, C. E., & Ganson, L. E. (2011, June), A Two-Year Case Study: Assessing the Impact of Active Learning on Elementary School Students during GK-12 Outreach Administered Energy Clubs Paper presented at 2011 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, Vancouver, BC. https://peer.asee.org/17400

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