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Board 362: Promoting Research-Driven Data Analytics Curriculum in High School through an NSF RET Site

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2023 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition


Baltimore , Maryland

Publication Date

June 25, 2023

Start Date

June 25, 2023

End Date

June 28, 2023

Conference Session

NSF Grantees Poster Session

Tagged Topic

NSF Grantees Poster Session

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Paper Authors


Shengfan Zhang University of Arkansas

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Shengfan Zhang is an Associate Professor in the Department of Industrial Engineering at the University of Arkansas. She received her Ph.D. and M.S. in Industrial Engineering from North Carolina State University. Zhang’s current research focuses on developing methodologies and solution approaches in medical decision making, especially advancing predictive and prescriptive analytics for disease prevention and treatment. Zhang teaches courses on probability and statistics, predictive analytics, stochastic processes, quality engineering and management, simulation, etc.

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Eric Specking University of Arkansas Orcid 16x16

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Dr. Eric A. Specking serves as the Assistant Dean for Enrollment Management and Retention for the College of Engineering at the University of Arkansas. Specking received a B.S. in Computer Engineering, a M.S. in Industrial Engineering, and a Ph.D. in Engineering from the University of Arkansas. His research interest includes decision quality, resilient design, set-based design, engineering and project management, and engineering education. During his time at the University of Arkansas, Eric has served as Principal Investigator, Co-Principal Investigator, or Senior Personnel on over 40 research projects totaling over $6.6 Million, which produced over 50 publications (journal articles, book chapters, conference proceedings, newsletters, and technical reports). He is an active member of the American Society for Engineering Education (ASEE) and International Council on Systems Engineering (INCOSE) where he has served in various leadership positions.

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The Arkansas Data Analytics Teacher Alliance (AR-DATA) program, a Research Experience for Teachers (RET) site in Arkansas supported by the National Science Foundation, is in its second year and have twenty high school teachers participating so far. The objectives of the program are to (1) promote research-driven high school data analytics curriculum and education to reach underserved students, such as those in rural areas; (2) provide a professional development opportunity for teachers to attain new knowledge in data analytics and various engineering application; and (3) encourage a long-term collaborative partnership between the University and public school districts in the region to strength data analytics education.

Currently, participating teachers have developed learning modules in mathematics, computer science, and pre-engineering. Faculty mentors across different fields in engineering and industry advisors helped the participating teachers develop modules reflecting current cutting-edge research in data analytics as well as gain a better understanding of the development needs for next-generation data analytics workforce. In this paper, we summarize key activities of the AR-DATA program, including findings from the application process, the six-week summer program, and academic year follow-up. We analyze the teachers' expectation and feedback of the program as well as the learning modules developed and piloted in the classroom. Finally, we present challenges and opportunities for sustainability of the AR-DATA program.

Zhang, S., & Specking, E. (2023, June), Board 362: Promoting Research-Driven Data Analytics Curriculum in High School through an NSF RET Site Paper presented at 2023 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, Baltimore , Maryland. 10.18260/1-2--43016

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