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Engineering Applications In The Early Algebra Classroom

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2004 Annual Conference


Salt Lake City, Utah

Publication Date

June 20, 2004

Start Date

June 20, 2004

End Date

June 23, 2004



Conference Session

Mathematics in Transition

Page Count


Page Numbers

9.538.1 - 9.538.10



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Paper Authors

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Anne Spence

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NOTE: The first page of text has been automatically extracted and included below in lieu of an abstract

Session 2665

Engineering Applications in the Early Algebra Classroom

Anne Spence, Taryn Bayles, Claudia Morrell

University of Maryland – Baltimore County Baltimore, Maryland


A Maryland State educational initiative implemented in 2003 will require all Maryland students to pass an assessment in algebra/data analysis in order to graduate from high school. Concurrently, Maryland is concerned about its ability to attract students to the field of engineering. One solution to both concerns is to introduce students to hands on engineering applications in their algebra classrooms via CD curriculum kits. The curriculum on the CDs will help students apply algebraic concepts more effectively while giving them a glimpse into the world of engineering. Many opportunities and challenges have been encountered during the initial implementation of the program.

The goal of this project, sponsored by the National Science Foundation, is to increase student enrollment and student diversity in college engineering programs throughout the state of Maryland and, potentially, throughout the country. The program incorporates five objectives in order to attain this goal: (1) develop CD curriculum kits that target different fields of engineering (chemical/mechanical, electrical, and civil/mechanical) that can be used in both middle and high school algebra classes; (2) provide a summer workshop for in-service mathematics teachers and undergraduate engineering Teaching Fellows; (3) develop an undergraduate engineering Teaching Fellows program to provide hands on instructional classroom support for middle and high school algebra teachers to help them integrate the CD curricula into their courses; (4) maintain student interest in engineering at schools through the development and institutionalization of an after-school engineering program that culminates in a series of collaborative and competitive activities; and (5) increase the involvement of females and other underrepresented groups in engineering by providing female and minority engineering role models in the classroom and developing curricula that encourage interest and participation by all groups. This paper presents results of the development of the fluid mechanics and electricity CDs.


It is often difficult for algebra students to see the application of mathematics beyond the word problems that they have in class. The motivation for the current project was to help students see the application of simple algebraic equations to engineering problems. If students can see the

“Proceedings of the 2004 American Society for Engineering Education Annual Conference & Exposition Copyright© 2004, American Society for Engineering Education”

Spence, A. (2004, June), Engineering Applications In The Early Algebra Classroom Paper presented at 2004 Annual Conference, Salt Lake City, Utah. 10.18260/1-2--12988

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