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Enhancing STEM Awareness for Pre-Service Teachers: A Recruitment Initiative

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2014 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition


Indianapolis, Indiana

Publication Date

June 15, 2014

Start Date

June 15, 2014

End Date

June 18, 2014



Conference Session

K-12 Teacher Pre-Service and Undergraduate Instructor Training

Tagged Division

K-12 & Pre-College Engineering

Page Count


Page Numbers

24.525.1 - 24.525.16



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Paper Authors


Rafic Bachnak Penn State Harrisburg

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Rafic A. Bachnak is Professor of Electrical Engineering and Director of the School of Science, Engineering, and Technology at Penn State Harrisburg. Previously, Dr. Bachnak was on the faculty of Texas A&M International University, Texas A&M-Corpus Christi, Northwestern State University, and Franklin University. Dr. Bachnak received his B.S., M.S., and Ph.D. degrees in Electrical Engineering from Ohio University. His experience includes several fellowships with NASA and the US Navy Laboratories and employment with Koch Industries. Dr. Bachnak is a registered Professional Engineer in the State of Texas, a senior member of IEEE and ISA, and a member of ASEE.

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Sofía Carolina Maldonado Texas A&M International University

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Sofía Carolina Maldonado is a graduate student at Texas A&M International University (TAMIU), currently completing a M.S. in Information Systems. She obtained her B.S. degree in Systems Engineering from the same University in Fall 2011. Sofía was a Distinguished Student Scholar and Student Respondent at the Fall 2011 Commencement Ceremony. Throughout her TAMIU education, she has been a member of the Phi Kappa Phi Honor Society and Vice-President and Treasurer of the Society of Engineering at TAMIU. In addition, Sofía was a Research Assistant for the project “Topography of an Object: Detection and Display (Software and Hardware)” and was Project Manager of the Engineering Senior Project Design entitled “New Classroom Propulsion Demonstrator.” She is presently a Special Program Aid at the Department of Engineering, Mathematics, and Physics at TAMIU.

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Gerardo J. Pinzon PE Texas A&M International University

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Mr. Pinzon is the STEM Advisor & Laboratory Manager in the Engineering, Mathematics and Physics Department at Texas A&M International University (TAMIU). He is currently a PhD Candidate in Environmental Engineering at Texas A&M University at Kingsville (TAMUK). He holds a Masters of Environmental Engineering from TAMUK, a Masters of Business Administration from TAMIU and a Bachelor of Science in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Texas at Austin. He is also a Professional Engineer registered in the State of Texas.

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Rohitha Goonatilake Texas A&M International University, Laredo, Texas

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Dr. Rohitha Goonatilake holds a Ph.D. in Applied Mathematics (1997). He has published several articles on various topics ranging from summability to networking intrusion detection and has worked on many social science projects since his joining Texas A&M International University (TAMIU) in 1999. He is currently working as a professor/interim chair of the Department of Engineering, Mathematics, and Physics. Currently, he is the PI for NSF Robert Noyce Mathematics Teacher Scholarship Program at TAMIU.

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Enhancing STEM Awareness for Pre-Service Teachers: A Recruitment Initiative (Research to Practice)AbstractThe shortage of engineers in the United States has been the focus of numerous recent reports.Various studies have been undertaken to determine the primary factors that influence anindividual’s educational and career choices. Results from a recent Intel funded study showed alack of familiarity with the engineering field as one of the key barriers. This was consistent withthe findings in a 2005 study by Hirsch, Kimmel, Rockland, and Bloom, who stated that “One ofthe many reasons more students are not choosing to study engineering in college and pursuecareers in engineering is that they simply do not know what engineering is or what engineersdo.” Recognition of this has resulted in a growing movement to create awareness and intensifyoutreach efforts by engineering/STEM educational programs across the country. One potentialsolution is to train middle and high school teachers in STEM areas so that they can influenceyoung students. This seems promising since the majority of K-12 teachers have limited or notraining in engineering and the implementation of specialized programs or efforts is oftenprohibitive due to limited resources. This paper documents the activities and results of a Pre-Service Teacher Workshop at xxxxxx. The purpose of this workshop was to address the limitedknowledge of secondary teachers about engineering degrees and careers. Participants, forexample, were made aware of the difference between the Scientific Inquiry Method and theengineering design process and other concepts taught in college engineering courses. Fourteenparticipants successfully completed the workshop. The proposed paper will provide detailsabout the workshop, including the topics covered. Results of pre- and post- workshop surveyswill be also presented and discussed in the paper.

Bachnak, R., & Maldonado, S. C., & Pinzon, G. J., & Goonatilake, R. (2014, June), Enhancing STEM Awareness for Pre-Service Teachers: A Recruitment Initiative Paper presented at 2014 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, Indianapolis, Indiana. 10.18260/1-2--20417

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