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Art2STEM: Discovery Through Design Links Middle School Girls to STEM Skills and Career Paths

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2012 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition


San Antonio, Texas

Publication Date

June 10, 2012

Start Date

June 10, 2012

End Date

June 13, 2012



Conference Session

NSF Grantees' Poster Session

Tagged Topic

NSF Grantees Poster Session

Page Count


Page Numbers

25.207.1 - 25.207.8



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Paper Authors


Sydney Rogers Alignment Nashville

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Executive Director of Alignment Nashville (AN) since 2005. AN is a non-profit that supports K-12 education. She was formerly vice-president and dean of technologies at Nashville State Community College for 30 years. Rogers has led several NSF funded grants aimed a reforming teaching and learning. She is currently assisting the Ford Next Generation Learning Initiative as part of the national team.

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Sandra M. Harris Alignment Nashville and PENCIL Foundation

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Sandra Harris is the Program Manager for Art2STEM, a three-year grant that the National Science
Foundation awarded to Alignment Nashville. The project seeks to impact the number of middle school girls enrolling in STEM-focused Career Academies in high school. Sandra was formerly the Technical Director and Community Access Coordinator for The Renaissance Center.

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Ismail Fidan Tennessee Technological University Orcid 16x16

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Ismail Fidan is a tenured Full Professor at the College of Engineering of Tennessee Tech University. His research and teaching interests are in additive manufacturing, electronics manufacturing, distance learning, and STEM education. Fidan is a member and active participant of SME, ASME, IEEE, and ASEE. He is also the Associate Editor of IEEE Transactions on Components, Packaging, and Manufacturing Technology.

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David Conner McNeel Alignment Nashville

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David McNeel is Co-PI on Alignment Nashville's program From Art to STEM, Co-PI on University of Massachusetts Boston's Synergy Collaboratory for Research Practice and Transformation, and a consultant with Metro Nashville Public Schools' Smaller Learning Communities initiative. He served as PI and Co-PI for the Synergy conference series and Director of the Center for IT Education (CITE).

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Art2STEM: Design and Creativity Links Middle School Girls to STEM Skills and Career PathsArt2STEM was established through a National Science Foundation (NSF) award (0833643)funded through its Innovative Technology Experiences for Students and Teachers (ITEST)Strategies track. This project is a collaborative effort among Alignment Nashville, PENCILFoundation, Metropolitan Nashville Public Schools (MNPS), Adventure Science Center (ASC)and Tennessee Tech University (TTU). Art2STEM is focused on 7th – 9th grade MNPS girls who arediscovering that creativity is an essential part of the world of Science, Technology, Engineering, andMathematics (STEM). The goal of Art2STEM is for middle school girls to develop a vision andconfidence for their future education and career in any STEM field.Art2STEM links and strongly supports many of the current priorities and initiatives of MNPS in thefollowing areas:  High School redesign and restructuring which has resulted in the establishment of a number of academies with STEM-related pathways  Renewed emphasis on rigor, relevance and relationships by o focusing on developing a deeper understanding of a subject versus just learning facts, o connecting with local business and industry to make education more relevant, and o developing caring and supporting connections with faculty  Increased emphasis on project- and problem-based and other forms of experiential learning as an instructional method  Emphasis on graduates being college and career ready and beginning that emphasis early on, not just in high school  Development of educational and career plans for the futureThe strategies successfully developed and implemented by the project collaborators areafterschool sessions, business site visits, university visits, family night, summer camp,professional development activities and focus groups. The external evaluation team continuouslycollects data from the project deliverables and reports them to project implementation team.Project implementation team meets weekly to discuss efficacy and, as needed, determines newtactics and methodologies to constantly advance the project deliverables.The final paper will report the successfully developed and implemented Art2STEM bestpractices.

Rogers, S., & Harris, S. M., & Fidan, I., & McNeel, D. C. (2012, June), Art2STEM: Discovery Through Design Links Middle School Girls to STEM Skills and Career Paths Paper presented at 2012 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, San Antonio, Texas. 10.18260/1-2--20967

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