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Assessing the Impact of Active Learning on Students in Grades 3-8 during GK-12 Outreach Program Administered Family STEM Nights

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2011 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition


Vancouver, BC

Publication Date

June 26, 2011

Start Date

June 26, 2011

End Date

June 29, 2011



Conference Session

Engaging Families and Exciting Girls with Engineering

Tagged Division

K-12 & Pre-College Engineering

Page Count


Page Numbers

22.246.1 - 22.246.15



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Paper Authors


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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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 Pre-College Division of the American Society of Engineering Educators and a Senior Member of the IEEE.

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Elizabeth A. Parry North Carolina State University

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Elizabeth Parry is a K-12 STEM curriculum and professional development consultant and the coordinator of K-20 STEM Partnership Development at North Carolina State University's College of Engineering. She has over twenty five years of experience in industry and STEM education. Prior to her current position, Ms. Parry was the project director of RAMP-UP, an NSF and GE funded project focused on increasing math achievement in K-12 through the use of collaboration between undergraduate and graduate STEM students and classroom teachers. She is an active member of ASEE, NCTM, NSTA, and ITEEA. Ms. Parry is currently the chair elect of the ASEE K-12 and Pre-College Division and a member of the Triangle Coalition Board of Directors.

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Assessing the Impact of Active Learning on K-8 Students and Their Parents during GK-12 Outreach Program Administered Family STEM NightsAbstractGK-12 outreach program administered Family STEM Nights are supported by the University andare held at public elementary or middle schools in the county throughout the school year. Theyare an opportunity for parents to bring their children to school to learn about science, technology,engineering and math through fun, hands-on activities. The outreach program brings theactivities to the school, sets them up and administers them. Each activity is designed fromeveryday materials to teach parents and children that STEM fields exist and are learnable. Wewill show that K-8 students and their parents gain a better understanding of technology and whatan engineer is just by participating in hands-on activities at Family STEM Nights. This impactwill be assessed by using the first two pages of the assessment from the Engineering isElementary workbook, “Catching the Wind” as a pre- and post event test. We will also show achange in perception and beliefs towards science, technology, education and math through a pre-and post event survey.A GE Foundation and National Science Foundation funded GK-12 Outreach Program at theUniversity administers Family STEM Nights at eleven public elementary and two public middleschools throughout the county during the academic year. A program graduate Fellow schedulesthe events with the school representative and recruits undergraduate program Fellows,Engineering Outreach Ambassadors and Women in Science and Engineering from the College ofEngineering and Teaching Fellows from the College of Education at the University. The event isa true collaboration between the Colleges of Engineering and Education at the University and theCounty schools. Attendance at each Family STEM Night ranges between 150 – 250 parents andchildren.

Albers, L., & Bottomley, L., & Parry, E. A. (2011, June), Assessing the Impact of Active Learning on Students in Grades 3-8 during GK-12 Outreach Program Administered Family STEM Nights Paper presented at 2011 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, Vancouver, BC. 10.18260/1-2--17527

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