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An Integrated, Blended Online Engineering Program of College-level Courses for High School Students Offered by a State-wide Public STEM Magnet School

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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

K-12 & Pre- College Engineering Division Poster Session

Tagged Division

K-12 & Pre-College Engineering

Tagged Topic


Page Count


Page Numbers

26.196.1 - 26.196.7



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Paper Authors


Michael Andrew Albright South Carolina Governor's School for Science and Mathematics

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Michael Albright teaches English for the Accelerate program at the South Carolina Governor’s School for Science and Mathematics. He received his Ph.D. in English literature in 2013 from Lehigh University (Bethlehem, Pa.), where he taught first-year composition primarily to engineering students as a graduate student. Albright specializes in drama of the early modern/Renaissance era, and his research focuses on the intersections of pedagogy, performance, and professionalization among teachers.

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Karen R. Den Braven South Carolina Governor's School for Science and Mathematics

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Karen R. Den Braven is the Director of Engineering Programs for the South Carolina Governor’s School for Science and Mathematics, a statewide magnet STEM high school. After receiving degrees in Mechanical Engineering from the University of California, Berkeley and Colorado State University, she spent more than 25 years at the University of Idaho as a Professor and as Director of the National Institute for Advanced Transportation Technology, where she brought in over $10 millon in research funding. She was also advisor to the three-time National Championship SAE Clean Snowmobile Challenge Team and is a Fellow of ASME. Dr. Den Braven joined SCGSSM in early 2014 as the director of the GSSM residential engineering program and Accelerate, the new virtual engineering program for gifted high-school students in the state.

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Elaine R. Parshall SC Governor's School of Science and Mathematics

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Elaine R. Parshall is the Academic Coordinator for Accelerate, a blended online high-school engineering program offered to students in grades 10-12 around the state. Her current responsibilities include course integration, planning summer camps and Saturday experiences, working with faculty, and general trouble-shooting for this new program. Formerly, she was the STEM Program Director and Alfred E. Christiansen Chair at St. Johnsbury Academy in St. Johnsbury, Vt., from 2006-2012. While there, she led a FIRST Robotics team for five years. Prior to teaching, she worked at various companies as an optical engineer and graduated from Tufts University with a Ph.D. in Electrical engineering in 1996.

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An integrated, virtual engineering program of college-level courses for high school students offered by a state-wide public STEM magnet school (Work in Progress) Abstract: Based on conversations with leading technology companies who want creative, articulate engineers, a program has been developed to offer high school students throughout the state an integrated set of courses in mathematics, engineering, English, and science. Many of these courses are dual-enrollment or Advanced Placement, taught by instructors who hold the terminal degree in their field and have experience in college or university classrooms. Upon graduation from high school, students may have earned up to 32 college credit hours from state colleges and universities.     The state-wide public STEM magnet school has educated talented students since 1988 in a residential setting. To reach high school students in grades 10 - 12 beyond its residential enrollees, our pilot program began offering a live, virtual engineering education to sophomores throughout the state in fall of 2013. Additional courses and grade levels are being added each year as students progress through the program. An integrated set of courses delivers superior science, engineering, and mathematics instruction along with valuable communication skills through dedicated English courses. This accelerated program provides students with opportunities for collaboration, social engagement, and research that hinge on the program’s model of integration, requiring networking across disciplines and physical space. Students participate in real-time, in-person and virtual lectures, as well as week-long summer and Saturday field experiences for hands-on activities, team-building, interaction and discussion, and problem-solving. Science courses meet two Saturdays a semester to complete hands-on laboratories. These are complemented by in-class laboratory demonstrations and online, virtual laboratory activities.     Instructors are developing an integrated set of desired outcomes and assessment tools informed by ABET accreditation standards. Areas of emphasis include project-based learning, design and process thinking, professionalism and ethics, and leadership and public speaking skills. This model of integration occurs in coursework, field experiences, and group collaboration across the state, both in- class and virtually. Students who complete the program are outfitted with professional knowledge, skills, and dispositions which will contribute to their future success—academically and professionally.      

Albright, M. A., & Den Braven, K. R., & Parshall, E. R. (2015, June), An Integrated, Blended Online Engineering Program of College-level Courses for High School Students Offered by a State-wide Public STEM Magnet School Paper presented at 2015 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, Seattle, Washington. 10.18260/p.23535

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