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Development and Assessment of an Engineering Course for In-Service and Pre-Service K-12 Teachers

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2011 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition


Vancouver, BC

Publication Date

June 26, 2011

Start Date

June 26, 2011

End Date

June 29, 2011



Conference Session

Certifying Teachers in Engineering or Integrated STEM

Tagged Division

K-12 & Pre-College Engineering

Page Count


Page Numbers

22.464.1 - 22.464.20



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Paper Authors


AnnMarie Thomas University of Saint Thomas

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AnnMarie Thomas is an assistant professor of Engineering at the University of St. Thomas, and co-director of the UST Center for Pre-Collegiate Engineering Education. Her teaching and research focus on Engineering Design and K-12 Engineering Education. Prior to her appointment at UST, she was a faculty member at Art Center College of Design.

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Jan B Hansen University of Saint Thomas

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Jan B. Hansen is co-director of the Center for Pre-Collegiate Engineering Education at the University of St. Thomas. Her current interests as an educational psychologist focus on outreach through the nonprofit "Educate Tanzania" of which she is president and CEO.

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Sarah H. Cohn Science Museum of Minnesota

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Sarah Cohn is The Science Museum of Minnesota’s Evaluation and Research in Learning Department’s coordinator and evaluation associate. Sarah’s thesis was focused on the impacts of museum theatre outreach. Through various evaluation projects, Sarah has focused on the educational impacts of programs, classes, and other products. She has presented at numerous conferences including AAM, ACM and VSA. Sarah is currently the lead evaluator on SMM evaluations of the Collectors’ Corner Nature Trading Posts, the Science Live Theater productions, the Warner Nature Center, and the programs created through the NSF funded grant (#0532536) for the Nanoscale Informal Science Network.

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Brian Phillip Jensen University of St. Thomas

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Brian Jensen is a student at The University of Saint Thomas in St. Paul, MN. He is studying mechanical engineering with a physics minor. Brian plans to graduate in December of 2011. His interests are sustainability, optics, and engineering education.

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Development and Assessment of an Engineering Course for In-Service and Pre-Service K-12 Teachers The engineering education community has called for more engineering emphasis inthe P-12 classroom, and many states have begun to incorporate engineering into theiracademic standards. Despite this, very few K-12 teachers have formal training inengineering. As part of engineering education efforts at _________ University, a newcourse titled “Fundamentals of Engineering for Educators” was offered to educators inthe fall of 2010. Two pre-service and thirteen in-service teachers enrolled. The goal ofthis course was to provide teachers with a hands-on introduction to a variety ofengineering topics commonly found in undergraduate engineering programs. Thesetopics included machine design, manufacturing, thermodynamics, electronics, computerprogramming, and fluids. Each unit consisted of a lecture as well as hands-on labexperiences which allowed the students to apply the lecture material. Emphasis wasplaced on how the material is used by engineering practitioners and how it can bepresented in a way which meets K-12 education standards.In this paper we will present details on the content of the course, as well as assessmentdata. Our evaluation of this course will use a mixed methods approach. Having pre- andpost-survey data, triangulated with focus group interview data, we will examine changesin the participants’ learning outcomes in terms of engineering content and pedagogicalintegration and the rigor of the engineering course for educators. We discuss students’perceptions of the program as well as the identified effective components of the program.

Thomas, A., & Hansen, J. B., & Cohn, S. H., & Jensen, B. P. (2011, June), Development and Assessment of an Engineering Course for In-Service and Pre-Service K-12 Teachers Paper presented at 2011 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, Vancouver, BC. 10.18260/1-2--17745

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