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Formative Assessment Of The University Of South Carolina's Graduate Teaching Fellows In K 12 Education Program

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2002 Annual Conference


Montreal, Canada

Publication Date

June 16, 2002

Start Date

June 16, 2002

End Date

June 19, 2002



Conference Session

Trends in Mechanical Engineering

Page Count


Page Numbers

7.571.1 - 7.571.7



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Jed Lyons

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Session 1566

Formative Assessment of the University of South Carolina’s Graduate Teaching Fellows in K-12 Education Program

Jed Lyons, Maryanne Banich, John Brader and Christine Ebert

University of South Carolina


With support from the NSF GK-12 Program, students and faculty in the College of Engineering and Information Technology and the College of Education are working together to (a) improve the teaching and communication skills of engineering graduate students and (b) improve science education in South Carolina schools. This paper describes the project and presents assessment results that are being used to improve the program.


The University of South Carolina (USC) received an award from the National Science Foundation’s Graduate Teaching Fellows in K-12 Education (GK-12) Program1 to support fellowships and associated training that will enable graduate students in engineering to serve as resources in K-12 schools. USC is one of over 50 institutions funded by NSF through this program. Some of these awards have been described2-4, and have provided guidance for the development, implementation and assessment of USC’s efforts.

The primary objective of the University of South Carolina’s Engineering Fellowships project is to help prepare today's engineering graduate students to be the engineering faculty of tomorrow. To succeed, these graduate students must be prepared to teach to a generation of students that has grown up in a global, high-tech society. To teach these students, tomorrow's engineering faculty needs better communication and teaching skills, and greater knowledge of cognitive processes that enhance student learning, than today's faculty possesses. This program develops these abilities.

Another objective of this GK-12 project is to improve science learning of students and assist in the professional development of teachers in grades 3-8. These groups are targeted because this is the time when most young people are either turned-on, or turned-off, to science. Too often, science and mathematics are viewed by the students as facts and figures to memorize, with little significance to the world around them. Engineering (the art of applying scientific and mathematical principles, experience and judgment to make things that benefit people) can provide the applications that make science real to the novice learner.

“Proceedings of the 2002 American Society for Engineering Education Annual Conference & Exposition Copyright Ó 2002, American Society for Engineering Education”

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Lyons, J. (2002, June), Formative Assessment Of The University Of South Carolina's Graduate Teaching Fellows In K 12 Education Program Paper presented at 2002 Annual Conference, Montreal, Canada. 10.18260/1-2--11149

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