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College and Nonprofit Industry Partnership: Coupling Undergraduate Projects with K-12 Outreach Program to Enhance Engineering Education

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Conference

2014 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition

Location

Indianapolis, Indiana

Publication Date

June 15, 2014

Start Date

June 15, 2014

End Date

June 18, 2014

ISSN

2153-5965

Conference Session

College Industry Partnerships Division Technical Session 2

Tagged Division

College Industry Partnerships

Page Count

17

Page Numbers

24.286.1 - 24.286.17

DOI

10.18260/1-2--20177

Permanent URL

https://peer.asee.org/20177

Download Count

157

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Paper Authors

biography

Deeksha Seth Drexel University

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Deeksha Seth received her B.S. in electrical engineering and mathematics from California State Polytechnic University, Pomona in 2009. She is currently a Ph.D. candidate in mechanical engineering at Drexel University. Her research focuses on determining the compliance of the Bluegill Sunfish’s tail during natural swimming by conducting perturbation studies on live fish. Her research approaches include fluid-structure interaction and applied system identification techniques.
Her efforts as a Ph.D. candidate include enhancing science and engineering education for K-12 and undergraduate students through development of biologically inspired educational tools for use at museums and aquariums. She has been a teaching assistant for an undergraduate course on product development since 2009 and has mentored teams of undergraduate engineering students through the development of biologically inspired educational tools. She has also taught science and engineering topics to K-12 students at various workshops and science events since 2005.

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biography

John Joseph Carr Jr. New Jersey Academy for Aquatic Sciences

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Jack Carr is senior manager of public STEM engagement at the New Jersey Academy for Aquatic Sciences in Camden, N.J. He has over 20 years of experience in the informal science education field while working with the N.J. State Aquarium as both a member of the husbandry and education staff. Currently, he develops and manages the after-school education programs for multiple schools in the Philadelphia and Camden area. Mr. Carr also co-teaches biology and AP Environmental Science courses at a Camden charter school. At the national level, Mr. Carr serves as NJAAS’s education director for Coastal America’s National Coastal Ecosystem Learning Center network.

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Angela D. Wenger New Jersey Academy for Aquatic Sciences

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Angela Wenger has worked in informal science education since 1991. She has been involved in many facets of the museum experience, including designing and presenting many of the museum’s public programs and exhibits, youth development programs, programs for underserved audiences, and professional development experiences. Her background includes 23 years of scientific research in a myriad of science topics, as well as psychology and family learning in museums. She has taught general biology, chemistry, aquatic science, and ecology for 20 years.

Ms. Wenger is active in a variety of professional informal education organizations and is co-founder and chairperson of the Mid-Atlantic YouthALIVE! Regional Network. She has co-authored two publications focused on family learning. Ms. Wenger is deeply commitment to diversity issues and broadening access to science for underserved audiences. She is also passionate about professional development of youth and staff working in science centers and museums.

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Lisa D. McNair Virginia Tech

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Lisa D. McNair is an associate professor of engineering education at Virginia Tech, where she also serves as assistant department head of graduate programs and co-director of the VT Engineering Communication Center (VTECC). She received her Ph.D. in linguistics from the University of Chicago and a B.A. in English from the University of Georgia. Her research interests include interdisciplinary collaboration, design education, communication studies, identity theory and reflective practice. Projects supported by the National Science Foundation include interdisciplinary pedagogy for pervasive computing design; writing across the curriculum in statics courses; and a CAREER award to explore the use of e-portfolios to promote professional identity and reflective practice. Her teaching emphasizes the roles of engineers as communicators and educators, the foundations and evolution of the engineering education discipline, assessment methods, and evaluating communication in engineering.

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James Louis Tangorra Drexel University

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James Louis Tangorra received the B.S. and M.Eng. degrees in mechanical and aerospace engineering from Cornell University, Ithaca, NY, in 1989 and 1990, respectively, and the Ph.D. degree in mechanical engineering from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 2003. He was a surface warfare officer in the U.S. Navy from 1990 to 1996, and served in the U.S. Navy reserves from 1997 to 2007. He was a postdoctoral researcher at the Bioinstrumentation Laboratory, MIT, from 2004 to 2007. Currently, he is an associate professor of mechanical engineering at Drexel University, Philadelphia, Pa. His laboratory focuses on the use of system-level engineering analysis techniques to understand the functional performance of biological systems.

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Abstract

University and academy partnership: coupling undergraduate projects with K-12 outreach program to enhance engineering education The goal of this project is to simultaneously improve engineering education forundergraduate and secondary school students through a partnership between our university andan informal educational academy. The partnership is achieved through the development of anundergraduate-level course in product development where students design and fabricatebiologically inspired, educational tools that are used to expose secondary school students at theacademy to biology, engineering, and the principles of design that are common to both. Duringthe course, the undergraduates interview educators and secondary students to document therequirements of an educational device. They then create a detailed design of a novel device andconstruct a functional prototype. To strengthen the student experience as well as the partnershipwith the academy, the teachers of the university course closely work with educators at theacademy. The academy educators are invited for interviews, presentations and meetings toprovide the undergraduate students with information and feedback for the development of a goodhands-on educational device. The students’ progress is assessed through observation as well assurveys. This project-based course provides engaging, hands-on learning for undergraduatestudents that is different from regular classroom learning and has improved their creativethinking, manufacturing, scientific analysis, business and communication skills. The integrationof biology and engineering exposes undergraduate students to an interdisciplinary challenge thatencourages them to apply their engineering knowledge to unfamiliar problems. The use ofhands-on investigative teaching devices has captivated interest of educators in schools, museumsand aquariums to increase secondary school students’ understanding of engineering andencourage them to pursue a scientific career. The authors of this paper include a tenuredprofessor and a PhD candidate from the university, the executive vice president and chiefoperating officer and the science education manager from the academy. These authors haveworked together for over three years with the mission of improving engineering education forstudents of all ages. This partnership has not only enhanced the design experience forundergraduate students but also given the academy the opportunity to expand their curriculum toinclude engineering topics. Partnership between the university and academy has enabled biologyand engineering to be taught together in a way that excites students about both disciplines andattracts more students to engineering through the lens of biology.

Seth, D., & Carr, J. J., & Wenger, A. D., & McNair, L. D., & Tangorra, J. L. (2014, June), College and Nonprofit Industry Partnership: Coupling Undergraduate Projects with K-12 Outreach Program to Enhance Engineering Education Paper presented at 2014 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, Indianapolis, Indiana. 10.18260/1-2--20177

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