St. Louis, Missouri
June 18, 2000
June 18, 2000
June 21, 2000
5.270.1 - 5.270.9
Engineering Students in K-12 Schools
Laura J. Bottomley, Elizabeth A. Parry, Sara Washburn, Amy Hossain, Rachel Meyer North Carolina State University
There is a wealth of knowledge and information to be shared between elementary, particularly K-5, students and college engineering students. Increasingly, children are deciding on those subjects they like and dislike (and therefore do and don’t do) as early as elementary school. Anecdotal evidence suggests that females, in particular, lose interest in math and science in mid- elementary school. An innovative new program in North Carolina’s Wake County is attempting to influence the academic choices of the elementary student, particularly young girls and underrepresented minorities. This is the pilot year of an NSF funded program that places college of engineering students as resources at public elementary schools.
By using graduate and undergraduate engineering students as science resources, the children are exposed early to the idea of science, math and/or engineering as a college, and therefore career, choice. The engineering students benefit as well, learning valuable communication skills that will enhance their marketability upon graduation. The ability to explain complex science to children requires confidence and technical knowledge. The ability to impart this knowledge in a useful way is a much sought after skill in the workplace. The school benefits from the early exposure to SMET, and teachers benefit by their participation in workshops and training sessions on incorporating science into daily lessons.
An additional unique aspect of the program lies in its addressing the topic of teaching of science to special needs children. Special needs in our population include ESL (English as a second language), hearing impaired and visually impaired students. Incorporation of these special needs in teaching SMET is a key part of our program.
Benefits to the K-12 schools include curriculum that integrates science, technology, and engineering topics with math, reading, and writing. Benefits to the Fellows include improved communication skills and self-image.
Washburn, S., & Hossain, A., & Parry, E. A., & Meyer, R., & Bottomley, L. (2000, June), Engineering Students In K 12 Schools Paper presented at 2000 Annual Conference, St. Louis, Missouri. https://peer.asee.org/8351
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