Albuquerque, New Mexico
June 24, 2001
June 24, 2001
June 27, 2001
6.409.1 - 6.409.15
Electrical Engineering Technology Experiences for Kindergarten Students
Kevin Torres, Michele Casey
Penn State Erie, The Behrend College/Creekside Christian School
Abstract An outreach project has been designed and implemented to provide kindergarten students with engineering technology experiences. In engineering education much has been done in outreach to middle school students and high school students. But very little is being done to reach out to K-6 and practically none for kindergarten students, especially in the field of engineering.
This paper describes electrical engineering technology experiences tailored for kindergarten students. The experiences are hands-on experiments with the hope that kindergartners can learn at-their-level fundamental electricity concepts. Knowledge of electricity theory through experiences is the end goal. One way this will be accomplished is by providing the students with first a concept, then asking them to make predictions. Introducing students to engineering at the kindergarten level is obviously a long term investment but what better a time to peak their interest and curiosity at such a vital age. The project also provides university faculty with the opportunity to serve the community.
The primary goal of these experiences is to give kindergarten students engineering knowledge that they can claim as their own. One way to introduce students to EET is by seeing, reading, or by word of mouth. This provides the student with information on the topic. Another way to introduce students to this topic is by doing something with equipment, with their own hands, so they see, hear or feel something happen. This provides the students from their own experiences with knowledge of the topic1. And knowledge is the end goal. A paper from the ASEE 2000 annual conference inspired the outreach project to kindergarten students by Professor Angie Hill- Price. In that paper2 Ms. Price shared how to introduce students to the field of material science. The concepts were then taken and applied to the field of electrical engineering technology. It is very common to introduce 9-12 grade students to engineering, however, very little is being done for the little people. Several papers2-15 claim to have programs for K-12, however, very little if anything is actually done for kindergarten students in these programs. Out of 51 published researched papers2-53 dealing with engineering outreach from the 1998, 1999, and 2000 ASEE and 1998 and 1999 Frontiers In Education Annual conferences, only four papers2-5 target Kindergarten students. Also, there is no engineering curriculum for early-childhood education. Kindergarten teachers in public and private schools can be contacted for a visiting professor to conduct the project onsite.
Proceedings of the 2001 American Society for Engineering Education Annual Conference & Exposition Copyright 2001, American Society for Engineering Education
Casey, M., & Torres, K. (2001, June), Electrical Engineering Technology Experiences For Kindergarten Students Paper presented at 2001 Annual Conference, Albuquerque, New Mexico. https://peer.asee.org/9170
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