June 24, 2017
June 24, 2017
June 28, 2017
Pre-College Engineering Education Division
Three regional institutions of higher learning are entering into their third year of a grant funded by the National Science Foundation which provides authentic research experiences in materials and manufacturing for community-based teams comprised of STEM educators from urban, rural and underrepresented school districts as well as undergraduate and graduate students majoring in STEM disciplines and STEM education. The assimilated teams worked collaboratively with program principal investigators, research faculty mentors, STEM curriculum experts and evaluators to engage in real-world research activities related to the manufacturing of materials from natural products, medicinal plants as well as the scaled-up additive manufacturing of three-dimensional components for various industrial applications. This successful model of collaborative community engagement actively partners with local manufacturers involved in forging and heat treating of materials, the high-tech fields of medicinal and aerospace materials, state of the art printing of three-dimensional objects as well as conventional sheet fed print media. Essential components of engineering design from the team research experiences are incorporated into the Teach Engineering transformative STEM curriculum for implementation in the classroom to foster greater interest among students in pursuing careers in STEM disciplines, especially among female and minority learners. Multi-faceted STEM curriculum placing greater emphasis on critical thinking and engineering design skills that match current materials and manufacturing trends is a prescription essential to man (woman) power transformation. Team reflections support program revisions which include civic minded components of research ethics and engineering for the good of society, as well as the benefits of community-based learning teams for workforce development of the next generation of STEM professionals.
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