June 26, 2011
June 26, 2011
June 29, 2011
K-12 & Pre-College Engineering
22.584.1 - 22.584.11
Engineering Energy Solutions: Facilitating Hands-on Design Projects for Middle and High School Students via a Statewide Professional Development Program for Teachers The state of Hawaii is the most dependent state in the nation on the importation of fossilfuel. With an ambitious and targeted goal to reduce that dependency, Hawaii has made apublic/private commitment to be powered by 70% clean energy by 2030. A similar commitmentto building an education to workforce technically skilled pipeline is critical to attaining energyindependence. Teachers from throughout the Hawaiian Islands have been engaging inprofessional development courses that give them the skills, curriculum, and hands-on materialsto engage their students in designing energy solutions for our unique state. “Island EnergyInquiry” is the name of the statewide program which originated on the island of Maui and soonafter spread throughout the state. Middle and high school science teachers are faced with limited time and resources tokeep their students engaged and interested in pursuing STEM fields. Yet at the same time,research shows the desperate need for cultivating more engineers and scientists. In particular, weneed a new generation of engineers, (environmental, electrical, and otherwise) to help solve theenergy challenges we will continue to face as a nation in the decades to come, and, certainly, asan island chain. Over the last year in Hawaii, five separate teacher professional development coursesengaged just over one hundred teachers in the use of innovative curriculum on photovoltaicelectricity, wind energy, and energy efficiency. In addition, local engineers and other energyindustry representatives presented on various energy topics to teachers. All participants receivedhands-on kits to take back to the classroom which included miniature PV modules, a four footwind turbine, and energy auditing equipment. All professional development events weredelivered using a hybrid learning environment which combined a two day face-to-face eventwith online, ongoing support during classroom implementation. Program assessment tools used included both a pre-assessment survey and post-classroom implementation survey of all participants. In addition, each course ended with a finalevent that consisted of teachers sharing summaries and results from their classroomimplementation of the curriculum and materials. The quantitative and qualitative data suggestthat the combination of the professional development model, the curriculum, and the hands-onkits were highly successful in engaging students throughout the state as engineers to solve ourunique energy challenges.
Wilkins, L., & Warren, D. P., & De Rego, F. R., & Seraphin, K. D. (2011, June), Engineering Energy Solutions: Facilitating Hands-on Paper presented at 2011 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, Vancouver, BC. https://peer.asee.org/17865
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