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Board # 109 :Baby Steps toward Meeting Engineering-rich Science Standards: Approaches and Results from a Short "What is Engineering?" Course for K-5 Pre-service Teachers (Work in Progress)

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2017 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition


Columbus, Ohio

Publication Date

June 24, 2017

Start Date

June 24, 2017

End Date

June 28, 2017

Conference Session

Pre-college Engineering Education Division Poster Session

Tagged Division

Pre-College Engineering Education Division

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Paper Authors


D. Raj Raman Iowa State University Orcid 16x16

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D. Raj Raman is Professor in the Agricultural and Biosystems Engineering (ABE) Department at Iowa State University, where he is also University Education Program Director and Testbed Champion for the NSF Engineering Research Center for Biorenewable Chemicals (CBiRC), Director of Graduate Education for the Interdepartmental Graduate Minor in Biorenewable Chemicals, and Education Programs Co-Leader for the USDA-AFRI project CenUSA Sustainable Production and Distribution of Biofuels for the Central USA. He is a licensed Professional Engineer who earned his BS in Electrical Engineering from the Rochester Institute of Technology and his PhD in Agricultural and Biological Engineering from Cornell University. Prior to coming to Iowa State in 2006, he was a faculty member at the University of Tennessee for over twelve years.

Raman enjoys teaching and has taught courses including freshmen engineering (mechanics and computer programming – to classes ranging in size from 20 to 500+), sophomore and junior level courses on mass and energy balance applications to biological systems engineering, numerical methods, electric power and electronics for technology students, senior design, as well as a long-standing residential/online graduate course on the fundamentals of biorenewable resources and technology. He has leveraged this interest into over $10M in teaching-related grant funding over his career and has contributed broadly to the literature in areas of curriculum, student risk characterization, and mentoring. He believes well trained, curious, thoughtful people are crucial to a university’s research effort, and similarly to the function and survival of society. For this reason, the overarching goal of his teaching is to impart the core content needed by the students, and to do so while encouraging inquisition and higher levels of thought. He has secured competitive funds to support his teaching efforts – from university, industry, and federal sources – and for his efforts has received departmental, college, and national teaching honors including the Farrall Young Educator Award (2004) and the Massey-Ferguson Gold Medal Teaching Award (2016) given by the American Society of Agricultural Engineers. He has also been an invited participant in the National Academy of Engineering’s 2013 Frontiers in Engineering Education Conference.

Raman chairs the ABE Engineering Curriculum Committee and in that role oversaw the successful 2012 ABET accreditation visit for both the Agricultural Engineering (AE) and Biological Systems Engineering (BSE) degree programs. Upon arriving at ISU in 2006, he led the development of the BSE program, and this program now enrolls over 100 students. Raman also runs multiple summer research internship programs through his roles in CBiRC and CenUSA – over 200 students have participated in summer programs he directed over the past decade. In his role as Pyrone Testbed Champion for CBiRC, Raman and his students have developed early-stage technoeconomic models of bioprocessing systems. His graduate students have gone on to faculty positions at peer institutions, and to engineering leadership positions at companies including Cargill, Nestle, and Merck.

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Monica H. Lamm Iowa State University


Sriram Sundararajan Iowa State University

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Sriram Sundararajan is a Professor of Mechanical Engineering and the Associate Dean for Academic Affairs at Iowa State University. His research areas encompass multiscale tribology (friction, lubrication and wear), surface engineering and engineering education. He has authored over 70 articles in peer-reviewed journals and conference proceedings and two invited book chapters. He is a Fellow of the American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME) and serves as an ABET evaluator on their behalf. He is on the steering committee of the International Conference on Wear of Materials and an executive committee member of the Mechanical Engineering Division of the American Society of Engineering Education (ASEE). He serves as as a delegate on the ASEE diversity committee. Prof. Sundararajan has been recognized for his accomplishments with the Young Engineering Faculty Research Award and Early Achievement in Teaching Award at Iowa State University. He received his B.E. degree in Mechanical Engineering from The Birla Institute of Technology and Science, Pilani (India) followed by M.S. and PhD degrees in Mechanical Engineering from The Ohio State University, Columbus, Ohio.

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Kristina Maruyama Tank Iowa State University

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Kristina M. Tank is an Assistant Professor of Science Education in the School of Education at Iowa State University. She currently teaches undergraduate courses in science education for elementary education majors. As a former elementary teacher, her research and teaching interests are centered around improving elementary students’ science and engineering learning and increasing teachers’ use of effective STEM instruction in the elementary grades. With the increased emphasis on improved teaching and learning of STEM disciplines in K-12 classrooms, Tank examines how to better support and prepare pre-service and in-service teachers to meet the challenge of integrating STEM disciplines in a manner that supports teaching and learning across multiple disciplines. More recently, her research has focused on using literacy to support scientific inquiry, engineering design, and STEM integration.

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Anne T. Estapa Iowa State University

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Elementary teacher preparation programs are generally tightly packed, with limited room for additional coursework. As states adopt Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS ), the need for teacher education programs to provide meaningful exposure to engineering is growing, and a multitude of approaches can be taken to meet this need. While the topics of engineering and engineering design are typically incorporated into science teaching methods courses, this research presents an alternative approach where we expose elementary pre-service teachers to engineering prior to or concurrently with enrollment in their methods courses. Specifically, we describe here our efforts in building a 12-contact-hour non-credit short course – based upon NGSS-aligned learning outcomes – that was delivered to 10 students in fall 2016. We provide details on our approaches, including examples used in the course, and explain our decision to offer this as a short course instead of a full-semester course. We also report on results from the pre- and post-surveys which we used to assess student learning in the course, and to understand what aspects of the course needed improvement.

Raman, D. R., & Lamm, M. H., & Sundararajan, S., & Tank, K. M., & Estapa, A. T. (2017, June), Board # 109 :Baby Steps toward Meeting Engineering-rich Science Standards: Approaches and Results from a Short "What is Engineering?" Course for K-5 Pre-service Teachers (Work in Progress) Paper presented at 2017 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, Columbus, Ohio. 10.18260/1-2--27685

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