Salt Lake City, Utah
June 23, 2018
June 23, 2018
July 27, 2018
Community Engagement Division
Abstract In recent years, an emphasis has been placed on incorporating projects that focus on science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) related subjects into K12 curriculum. These projects often involve solving real world challenges in order to engage the students and develop critical thinking skills. Research findings suggest that conceptual learning is improved particularly if students are required to use knowledge and skills from multiple disciplines. In this paper, we discuss the development of an outreach program beginning with 6th grade students in math and science classes. The students are in a rural school district and many are in the lower social economic sector. The goals of this program are threefold: First to enhance the critical thinking skills of the students; second, to reach the students who fall into the lower social economic sector who might not have encouragement to pursue STEM fields in the future; and finally to create a sustaining co-mentoring program between university instructors and students with the K12 teachers and their students. Our team began work with the 6th grade students in their classroom during school hours. Students initially work on a well-defined project or experiment then, based on their initial finding, work as a part of a team to design and implement their next project or experiment. To measure the impact of our program in the future, our team will assess changes in student test scores and possibly conduct pre and post surveys to assess changes in student attitudes toward STEM. One important lesson learned was that for sustainability, the time commitment of only 1 hour per week is necessary.
Schuman, J. B., & Shannon, K. (2018, June), Engagement in Practice: Developing a Sustainable K-12 Outreach STEM Program Paper presented at 2018 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition , Salt Lake City, Utah. 10.18260/1-2--30382
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