June 14, 2015
June 14, 2015
June 17, 2015
K-12 & Pre-College Engineering
26.613.1 - 26.613.6
Engineering an Integrated STEM Education for Teachers Work-In-ProgressMany k-12 schools are pushing for an integrated STEM curriculum (Science, Technology, Engineering,and Mathematics). This abstract describes one master’s program that seeks to truly integrate the STEMfields and provide in-service teachers enough education so that they can put together the kind ofintegrated curriculum so highly sought after today.The physical world around us is multidisciplinary. Or more accurately, nondisciplinary, if there weresuch a word. It is we humans who put on our polarizing glasses that divide the world into academicdisciplines. Consider the world of Robotics. Many consider Robotics an engineering discipline.However, robots interface with the world around them. For example, a robot that moves around aspace must have had a “creator” who knows something about forces and motion. The “creator” mayhave been a physicist, a mechanical engineer, or a mathematician. The robot may also need to senseheat in the air meaning the “creator” could have been a physical chemist. Or the robot may be checkingsoil moisture implying the “creator” is a soil chemist, a biologist or an agricultural engineer.Some would assume that the “creator” is simply an engineer with basic understanding of math, science,and technology. From this assumption, some might infer that engineering is the Integrative STEMdiscipline. But, truthfully integrating the STEM disciplines requires making connections among manyareas of science, technology, mathematics and engineering. An integrative STEM education requires theaddition of the education expertise. The author’s institution offers a new master’s degree in integratedSTEM education, iSTEM. This master’s program is made up of courses ranging from methods courses tophysical sciences to engineering. Each course is not a standalone course in any one discipline. Eachcourse is rooted in one discipline but will make connections to other areas. This paper presents one ofthe courses, a course covering the methods of engineers through robotics as an application.The course described is organized into a sequence of projects. Each project is designed to present aparticular area of STEM with robotics being the vehicle to investigate the given area. For example aproject using a temperature and humidity sensor would connect with the disciplines of chemistry,engineering and computer science. Chemistry to learn how the sensor converts humidity to a voltagelevel, engineering to learn about how the sensor converts the voltage to a number in the computer andcomputer science to learn about interfacing the software with the hardware. Other projects includeprogram control logic bringing mathematics and computer science together; Driving LEDs bringingphysics and electrical engineering together; Servo motor control bringing electrical and mechanicalengineering together to see how rotation can be translated into linear motion.The course is currently under development for the first offering in February and March of 2015.
Neebel, D. J. (2015, June), Engineering an Integrated STEM Education for Teachers Paper presented at 2015 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, Seattle, Washington. 10.18260/p.23951
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