June 22, 2008
June 22, 2008
June 25, 2008
13.138.1 - 13.138.7
Accessible sTEm Education Abstract
The University of Cincinnati collaborated with four Cincinnati-area high schools (Mt Notre Dame High School, Princeton High School, Mother of Mercy High School, and Harrison High School) to develop and offer a program that introduced students at those schools to the practice of Engineering and Engineering Technology. The College of Applied Science and the College of Engineering worked together to provide content that would provide high school students a balanced view of the careers and opportunities available in Engineering and Engineering Technology. The goal for the course was that greater numbers of students would understand the practice of engineering and engineering technology and would choose to pursue these in their college studies. This paper describes the collaborative process used to design and implement the course.
In response to inquiries from two local schools, the University of Cincinnati developed a working group with the goal of providing high school students a meaningful introduction to the practice of engineering. This group consisted of instructors and administrators from three local high schools along with faculty and staff from UC’s College of Engineering. Initial discussions of the working group identified these goals:
• Have a course available in the high schools beginning fall 2007 • Participation in the course should not be limited to “AP level” students • Current instructors would teach the course • Participation in the course should lead more students to pursue college programs in engineering
The working group also identified the need to encourage STEM disciplines to the greatest number of students possible. The importance of including both engineering and engineering technology in the course content was evident. The College of Applied Science was added to the collaboration in order to provide the engineering technology emphasis needed.
The working group evaluated existing curricula and materials to determine whether such materials could be used for the proposed course. In addition to discipline specific resources, the materials reviewed included: Project Lead the Way1, The Infinity Project2, Tools of Discovery3, and Engineering Your Future4.
While these and other programs provide significant resources and have a history of implementation in schools, careful consideration was given to identifying resources that allowed the collaboration to meet the goals established. In particular, Project Lead the Way provided a very robust approach and is the “preferred approach” according to the Ohio Department of Education. However, the commitment of resources needed (time and funds) to adopt that approach led the working group to choose the approach provided by the Engineering Your Future, A Project Based Introduction to Engineering text4.
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