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Bridging High School Science and First-year Engineering Through the Preservice Teachers’ Science Methods Course [RESUBMISSION]

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2021 First-Year Engineering Experience



Publication Date

August 9, 2021

Start Date

August 9, 2021

End Date

August 21, 2021

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Kathleen A Harper The Ohio State University

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Kathleen A. Harper is a senior lecturer in the Department of Engineering Education at The Ohio State University. She received her M. S. in physics and B. S. in electrical engineering and applied physics from Case Western Reserve University, and her Ph. D. in physics from The Ohio State University. She has been on the staff of Ohio State’s University Center for the Advancement of Teaching, in addition to teaching in both the physics and engineering education departments. She is currently a member of the ASEE Board of Directors' Commission on P-12 Engineering Education.

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This GIFTS presentation describes a portion of a collaboration between the college of education, science departments, and first-year engineering program at a large public university. Not quite ten years ago, several courses in the licensure program for middle and high school science teaching were revised, including the teaching methods course. The new version of the course is team taught, with a faculty member from education serving as the teacher of record and coordinator of the course; faculty from biology, chemistry, earth science, physics, and engineering lead segments of the course that blend content with pedagogical approaches appropriate to their disciplines. A typical segment is between four and six class periods, with the periods being slightly over two hours in length.

The engineering portion of the course focuses primarily on design elements and how they might be incorporated into an existing science class, but also provides an opportunity for students to experience some of the materials and activities used in the opening class periods of the first-year engineering courses at the institution. Within the realm of design, the pre-service teachers work through a series of activities on decision matrices and also participate in a one-period design challenge. They also each research a common science building project to share with the rest of the students, with an emphasis on determining whether it encourages students to employ engineering design processes or not. In recent years, these activities have fit comfortably into four class meetings.

The presentation will focus on the key elements of each of the four class meetings (introductory activities from first-year engineering, decision matrices, design challenges, and adapting common building projects to encourage engineering ways of thinking). The rationale for choosing these topics, particularly as it applies to the transition from K-12 to first-year engineering, will also be shared. Additionally, there will be some discussion of how the activities from this methods course have influenced elements of the first-year engineering course at the institution.

Harper, K. A. (2021, August), Bridging High School Science and First-year Engineering Through the Preservice Teachers’ Science Methods Course [RESUBMISSION] Paper presented at 2021 First-Year Engineering Experience, Virtual . 10.18260/1-2--38373

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