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Engineering Based Math And Science Curriculum Implemented In 4 Th, 5 Th, And 8 Th Grade Classrooms: A Case Study

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2003 Annual Conference


Nashville, Tennessee

Publication Date

June 22, 2003

Start Date

June 22, 2003

End Date

June 25, 2003



Conference Session

Mathematics in the Transition

Page Count


Page Numbers

8.495.1 - 8.495.11



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Paper Authors

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Kyria Alfaro

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Michael Mooney

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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 Based Math and Science Curricular Units Implemented in 4th, 5th and 8th Grade Classrooms: A Case Study

Kyria Alfaro, Lorena Barbosa, Yetunde Ishola, Patrick Gorman, Nicholas Marquez, Michael Mooney

1.0 Introduction Adventure Engineering (AE), launched in 1999 with funding from the National Science Foundation, is a middle grade science and math outreach initiative aimed at students who, without the benefit of a positive mathematics and/or science applications experience, will not otherwise consider technical careers in mathematics, science, and engineering. AE creates adventure-based curricular units designed to more effectively teach required math and/or science concepts. The curricular units are aligned with national and state math and/or state standards. Content is aligned with national concepts, standards and principles, and is fueled by engineering problem solving and design.

This case study describes the implementation of AE math and science curricular units in urban and suburban 4 th, 5th and 8 th grade classrooms during Fall 2002. The curricula implemented were Lost in the Amazon (4 th and 5 th grade), Asteroid Impact (8 th grade), and Volcano Engineering (8th grade). Student teams were created in each classroom, teachers led the implementation of each unit, and AE Fellows (undergraduate and graduate engineering students) observed and assisted the teachers when necessary. AE fellows also conducted assessment of student attitudes, student content knowledge, and teacher perspectives. The paper will chronicle the implementation of each curricular unit and report on teacher and student experiences.

2.0 Adventure Engineering Overview AE strives to (1) improve interest in and attitudes towards mathematics, science and engineering; (2) improve concept learning in science and math; and (3) provide a minds- on, hands-on, meaningful and enjoyable experience. The AE program involves the development and implementation of single day to four-week adventure-driven engineering- based curricular units for grades 4 through 9 science and/or math classes. Given a designated time period and concepts identified in national math and science standards, the AE team develops an adventure-based scenario filled with obstacles that require the learning and application of the desired science and/or math concepts. All curricula are inquiry-based and open ended; activities are designed to facilitate concept understanding and immerse students in the engineering design experience. The AE program is described in detail elsewhere (Mooney et al. 2002a,b,c).

Proceedings of the 2003 American Society for Engineering Education Annual Conference & Exposition Copyright © 2003, American Society for Engineering Education

Alfaro, K., & Mooney, M. (2003, June), Engineering Based Math And Science Curriculum Implemented In 4 Th, 5 Th, And 8 Th Grade Classrooms: A Case Study Paper presented at 2003 Annual Conference, Nashville, Tennessee. 10.18260/1-2--11981

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