June 24, 2017
June 24, 2017
June 28, 2017
Pre-College Engineering Education Division
With the need for STEM education increasing, a lack of Engineering Education remains. We have created a way for teachers to delve into engineering education. Offering a series of professional development days, STEM teachers from elementary, middle, and high schools were able to attend mini-workshops conducted by engineering professors. The goal of this paper is to determine the effectiveness of the series of professional development days. This professional development is part of an NSF grant promoting engineering education. As during the past two professional development days, the hope of the final session was for STEM teachers to engage with engineering professors in a topic that could be taught in an elementary, middle, and/or high school classroom. Likewise, the engineering faculty was able to learn the classroom pedagogy used by the teachers in their daily workplace. In preparing the mini-workshops for the STEM teachers to attend, it was important to focus the topics on ways to integrate STEM education into every classroom, placing an emphasis on gaining new knowledge, problem-solving skills, and using hands-on activities as a basis for learning engineering concepts. Reviewing results from previous professional development days, teachers expressed a need for workshops or topics relevant to their own curriculum. Responding to this request, we strayed from the previous idea of having the engineering faculty choose topics. Instead, we based the workshops on topics found in math and science curriculum. By doing this, the teachers would find a direct correlation between the engineering topic explained in the workshop and the curriculum they teach. After proposing the math and science topics to the engineering faculty, nine faculty members designed workshops that would allow the teachers to experience both a lecture and hands-on activity segment surrounding the math and science curriculum. For this professional development day, 18 teachers, education professors, and professional development consultants attended the workshops. Using a variety of materials from wires and lemons to computer software and marshmallows, the engineering faculty demonstrated the concept to the teachers and allowed them to find a correlation between engineering and their own curriculum. Teachers drafted lessons based on the workshops and submitted them to their engineering professor as well as our center. After close review and suggestions, the drafts were sent back to the teachers for revisions and then submitted to our center for final approval. Lessons were then taught in the teacher’s respective classroom. Approved lesson plans were added to our website for promulgation among STEM educators. A post session survey was completed by the engineering faculty and the teachers. The results from this survey will allow us to continue to look into the success of this program and with the support of the NSF grant continue to help STEM teachers in promoting engineering education.
Jacobs, M. A., & Shahbazi, Z., & Scotti, A., & Mancuso, K. C., & Lehnes, A. E. (2017, June), From Professor to Teacher: Who Knows What Engineering Is Best in the K-12 Classroom? Paper presented at 2017 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, Columbus, Ohio. 10.18260/1-2--28392
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