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Challenges Of A Multi Disciplinary K12 Summer Content Institute

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2005 Annual Conference


Portland, Oregon

Publication Date

June 12, 2005

Start Date

June 12, 2005

End Date

June 15, 2005



Conference Session

K-12 Poster Session

Page Count


Page Numbers

10.298.1 - 10.298.12



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Paper Authors

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Wayne Burleson

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Noah Salzman

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Christopher Emery

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Kevin Kloesel

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Sandra Cruz Pol

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Omnia El-Hakim

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Kathleen Rubin

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NOTE: The first page of text has been automatically extracted and included below in lieu of an abstract

Challenges of a Multi-Disciplinary K12 Summer Content Institute

Noah Salzman, Wayne Burleson, Sandra Cruz Pol, Omnia El-Hakim, Christopher Emery, Kevin Kloesel, Kathleen Rubin

University of Massachusetts Amherst/University of Massachusetts Amherst/University of Puerto Rico, Mayagüez/Colorado State University/University of Massachusetts Amherst/ University of Oklahoma/University of Massachusetts Amherst


During the summer of 2004, twenty-two science teachers from four states and Puerto Rico came to the University of Massachusetts Amherst for a weeklong content institute to learn about an innovative new approach to severe weather tracking and prediction. Over the course of the week, the teachers learned about electronics, networking, radar, meteorology, and complex engineered systems. They also learned about diversity and grant writing, and gained familiarity with the Massachusetts science frameworks, one of the first state frameworks in the country to include engineering as a core focus. The summer content institute was sponsored by CASA, the National Science Foundation Engineering Research Center for Collaborative Adaptive Sensing of the Atmosphere. CASA is developing a distributed network of small, low-cost radars and other sensors designed to observe weather phenomena in the lower part of the atmosphere. This new sensing system will allow for better observation, tracking, and prediction of severe weather events than current weather radar systems. CASA is a complex, multidisciplinary project involving engineering, meteorology, computer science, and sociology. This complexity was reflected in the challenges of teaching content from all of these disciplines in a weeklong summer workshop designed for middle school science teachers. Participants in CASA include four core academic institutions along with dozens of educational and industry partners. Nine people from the four core universities taught the course, which presented another set of challenges. Pre/Post tests and course evaluations indicated that despite the breadth of the course, the participating teachers were able to understand the content and had many ideas how to use the knowledge that they acquired in the content institute in their elementary, middle, and high school classrooms. Collaboration among teachers from different states was encouraged during the week that the teachers were together, and the end of the course saw several exciting plans for cooperative projects in the future. Follow-up activities included developing a CD and web-based archive of the course, and the teachers returning to the University of Massachusetts to present on the projects they developed.

Proceedings of the 2005 American Society for Engineering Education Annual Conference & Exposition Copyright © 2005, American Society for Engineering Education

Burleson, W., & Salzman, N., & Emery, C., & Kloesel, K., & Cruz Pol, S., & El-Hakim, O., & Rubin, K. (2005, June), Challenges Of A Multi Disciplinary K12 Summer Content Institute Paper presented at 2005 Annual Conference, Portland, Oregon. 10.18260/1-2--15451

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