June 26, 2011
June 26, 2011
June 29, 2011
K-12 & Pre-College Engineering
22.610.1 - 22.610.12
Engineers on WheelsScience and engineering have been the base of American economic growth forgenerations. We were leaders in the industrial revolution and we initiated the Internetage. Today, these fields continue to have great potential for growing our economy andemploying more Americans. Between 1983 and 2004 the percentage of the U.S.workforce in science and engineering occupations almost doubled. However, recent dataindicates that the U.S. is falling behind other countries in educating our youth in STEMfields. American students continue to score below international averages on math andscience tests. China, India and Japan all award more than 50 percent of theirundergraduates degrees in science and engineering, while only 23 percent of U.S.students receive these degrees. The necessary first step is to improve science and matheducation in schools, because an educated workforce is the foundation for economicstrength. Engineering educators in the U.S. are thus looking at innovative ways ofexposing K-12 educators and students to science and engineering at an early age.Enhanced engineering education in our K-12 classrooms can provide students at anearlier age with a more specific understanding of what a technical career entails. We mustencourage teachers to assume a more active role not only in the implementation/deliveryof the educational experience for the student, but also in the innovation and continuousimprovement necessary for engineering education to meet these challenges.Most school districts are faced with financial constraints especially in providing studentsenriching experiences via field trips and teachers opportunities for educationalworkshops for STEM (Science Technology Engineering Mathematics) exposure. As suchthere is a dire need to reach out to teachers and students on site to offer exposure toSTEM careers via innovative hands-on learning activities. One way to do this is to takeengineering workshops onsite to school districts. This would eliminate the expenses forfield trips and allow engineering students and faculty to promote engineering careers toa huge cohort of K-12 prospective students.Engineers on Wheels is aimed at bringing engineering concepts into K-12 classrooms andextracurricular activities, as well as providing an opportunity for college-levelengineering students to reinforce their own knowledge of engineering and share theirexcitement about the subject with the next generation of engineers. Vans have beenoutfitted with modern engineering displays and engineering activities are demonstratedoutside the vehicle at school parking lots. The EW project is unique in that the activitiesare developed entirely by engineering students at Rowan University and delivered toschool districts by students/faculty. Engineering travel to select school districtsthroughout the academic year to expose the challenges and excitement of engineering toK-12 students and educators. Travel is conducted in colorful vehicles that represent theRowan name and bring engineering alive for the select audience. All engineeringdisciplines are represented via the select activities. Samples of activities include Solar,Wind and Water Power, Slime, Biodiesel and Lip Gloss Processing, Bridge Building andStrength of Materials.
Jahan, K., & Bhatia, K. K. (2011, June), Engineers on Wheels Paper presented at 2011 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, Vancouver, BC. 10.18260/1-2--17891
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