June 18, 2006
June 18, 2006
June 21, 2006
K-12 & Pre-College Engineering
11.183.1 - 11.183.15
An Engineering Research Experience for Teachers: Implementation and Assessment Introduction
This paper describes the research and professional development experience provided in a pilot Site for 7th to 12th grade teachers in "Civil Engineering" with a special focus on “Civil Infrastructure Renewal and Rehabilitation.” The Site was offered at the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering (CEE), University of Cincinnati (UC) during the summer of 2005. This Research Experiences for Teachers (RET) Site was funded by the National Science Foundation (NSF) and can be found at http://www.eng.uc.edu/STEP/ret/. The goals of this RET experience were three fold. First, we expected to educate, cultivate, and facilitate 7th to 12th grade science and math teachers by exploring the scientific method of inquiry and the critical research skills that engineers use to solve open-ended real-world problems. Second, it was expected that the teachers participating in the RET experience would become role models by applying their research experiences in their classrooms and with colleagues. Third, the teachers’ new skills would enable 7th to 12th grade students to directly link their standards-based education to events and issues occurring within their community and encourage them to become effective citizens in a technology-driven society. This paper describes four aspects to the project; first the research projects and professional development activities executed are presented, second the assessment process used as part of the evaluation plan is described, third the outcomes of the evaluation plan are presented and how these results obtained are planned to be used for future improvements, and finally the general conclusions from the whole experience are summarized. Hopefully, this documentation will help others in planning similar experiences for K-12 teachers.
In a world with rapidly changing technology and a global economy, there is a growing concern that Americans will not remain competitive1. The well being of our nation depends upon how well we educate our children in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM). Poorly prepared instructors teach many STEM classes, and our inability to attract and keep good teachers has become problematic2-7. The most effective way to interest children in science and math is by producing enthusiastic inspiring teachers. Teacher training is not simply a matter of preparation; it depends just as much on sustained, high-quality professional development8-12. The RET Site provided the type of quality professional development that encouraged reciprocal interactions between teachers and professionals necessary in today’s economy to open channels of communication and sharing to enhance and maintain teacher abilities and preparation for teaching relevant STEM skills to students in an emerging global economy.
As part of the RET Site, each teacher worked from 8:00 a.m. to noon each day with a CEE faculty member and a dedicated graduate student on a research project for six weeks during the summer in their laboratories. In the afternoon from 1:00 to 5:00 p.m. the teachers took professional development seminars taught by education and engineering faculty members and practicing engineers, and went on four field trips. They also worked with a team of engineering and education graduate Fellows working for a NSF Graduate K-12 Fellows Grant to develop lesson plans that would be implemented in their classrooms before they finished the summer RET summer experience. They presented their research findings and a related lesson activity
Kukreti, A., & McNerney, P., & Soled, S., & Obarski, K., & Lu, M., & Miller, R., & Oerther, D., & Wei, H., & Fowler, T. (2006, June), An Engineering Research Experience For Teachers: Implementation And Assessment Paper presented at 2006 Annual Conference & Exposition, Chicago, Illinois. https://peer.asee.org/360
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