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Connecting Science with Engineering: Using Inquiry and Design in a Teacher Professional Development Course

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Conference

2011 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition

Location

Vancouver, BC

Publication Date

June 26, 2011

Start Date

June 26, 2011

End Date

June 29, 2011

ISSN

2153-5965

Conference Session

Engineering Design in Pedagogy

Tagged Divisions

K-12 & Pre-College Engineering and Design in Engineering Education

Page Count

20

Page Numbers

22.372.1 - 22.372.20

Permanent URL

https://peer.asee.org/17653

Download Count

18

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Paper Authors

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Louis S. Nadelson Boise State University

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Louis S. Nadelson is an Assistant Professor in the College of Education at Boise State University. His research agenda is conducted within the context of STEM education and includes aspects of conceptual change, inquiry, and pre-service and in-service teacher education. He has published research ranging from teacher professional development to the impact of inquiry on STEM learning. Dr. Nadelson earned a B.S. degree in Biological and Physics Science from Colorado State University, a B.A. with concentrations in computing, mathematics and physics from The Evergreen State University, a Secondary Teaching Certificate from University of Puget Sound, an M.Ed. in Instructional Technology Leadership from Western Washington University and a Ph.D. (research-based, not theoretical) in Educational Psychology from the University of Nevada, Las Vegas.

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Patricia Pyke Boise State University

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Patricia A. Pyke is the Director of the STEM Station at Boise State University. The STEM Station in a university-level initiative to build a STEM community where students and faculty are connected to the resources and support they need to achieve their individual goals in education, career, teaching and research. Her role as director for the STEM Station builds on previous work managing research projects and initiatives in STEM student success, K-12 engineering and integrated STEM programs. She earned a B.S.E. degree in Mechanical Engineering from Duke University and a master’s degree in journalism from the University of California, Berkeley.

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Janet Callahan Boise State University Orcid 16x16 orcid.org/0000-0001-6665-1584

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Janet Callahan is the Associate Dean for Academic Affairs at the College of Engineering at Boise State University and a Professor in the Materials Science and Engineering Department. Dr. Callahan received her Ph.D. in Materials Science, her M.S. in Metallurgy and her B.S. in Chemical Engineering from the University of Connecticut. Her educational research interests include freshmen engineering programs, math success, K-12 STEM curriculum and accreditation, and retention and recruitment of STEM majors.

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Anne Hay Boise State University

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Anne Hay is the Coordinator of the Idaho SySTEMic Solution, a K-12 research project at Boise State University funded by the U.S. Department of Education. Ms. Hay has more than 25 years of teaching experience in K-12 through college programs, teaching German, English as a foreign language, biology, general science, life science, ecology and music. She received a B.A. and an M.S. in biology from Stanford University and a Teaching Credential from the University of California, Berkeley.

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Joshua Pfiester Boise State University

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Joshua Pfiester is a Doctoral Student in Curriculum & Instruction and Graduate Research Assistant. His relevant research interests include understanding the obstacles STEM teachers face in collaboration and disseminating best instructional practices. He completed a M.A. in Elementary Science Education from Fairleigh Dickinson University and a B.S. in Natural Resources Management from Rutgers University.

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Mark A. Emmet Boise State University

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Mark A, Emmet is currently the Associate Research Project Coordinator for Idaho SySTEMic Solution, a project funded by the United States Department of Education and administered jointly by the Colleges of Engineering and Education at Boise State University. Mr. Emmet has worked previously as the Professional Development Coordinator for the North Cascades and Olympic Science Partnership, and as Project Manager for the GK-12 'Catalysts for Reform,' two NSF funded projects at Western Washington University in Bellingham, WA. Mr. Emmet also worked as a peer instructor for the 'Physics by Inquiry' Academy in the Physics Education Group at the University of Washington in Seattle, WA. He taught elementary school in the Seattle School District for over a decade.

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Abstract

Connecting Science with Engineering: Using Inquiry and Design in a Teacher Professional Development CourseAs more emphasis is placed on integrating STEM into the curriculum (National ResearchCouncil, 2009) there is a need to enhance the capacity for k-12 teachers. Responding to this callour Colleges of Engineering and Education collaborated to offer an intensive three day summerinstitute to address the preparation of elementary school teachers (grades k-5) to teach STEMcurriculum. The focus of our institute curriculum was on the use of both inquiry and design asapproaches for integrating STEM content. In particular we explicitly stressed the link betweenscience and inquiry and engineering and design, how these processes differ, how they cancomplement each other and how they can be used instructionally to teach a wide range of STEMcontent. We engaged the participants in a series of hands-on activities focused on the inquiryprocess of manipulating variables to gather data to explain phenomenon or design processes thatfocus on creating and refining the best solution given constraints.To determine the effectiveness of our workshop we gathered pre and post data to assess our 58participants’ comfort for teaching STEM, their STEM pedagogical discontentment, theirimplementation of inquiry curriculum, and their knowledge of the design process. Our initialresults indicate significant increases in comfort teaching STEM (t = 12.761, p < .01), decreasesin STEM pedagogical discontentment (t = 7.281, p < .01), and increases in the design processknowledge (t = 6.072, p < .01). Post data collection for the implementation of inquiry will takeplace in Fall 2010 allowing time for the participating teachers to apply their learned knowledgeand develop a post conference context for their instructional practice with students. Allinstruments used for data collection were extant and had established reliability and validity.Our results indicate that our three day summer institute increased our participants’ knowledge ofdesign along with comfort for teaching STEM. Also, the institute decreased the teachers’pedagogical discontentment for teaching STEM. We will be collecting another round of data infall, 2010 to determine how the teachers are applying what they learned in terms ofimplementing inquiry and design with their students. All results will be reported in the finalpaper.

Nadelson, L. S., & Pyke, P., & Callahan, J., & Hay, A., & Pfiester, J., & Emmet, M. A. (2011, June), Connecting Science with Engineering: Using Inquiry and Design in a Teacher Professional Development Course Paper presented at 2011 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, Vancouver, BC. https://peer.asee.org/17653

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