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Gk 12 Engineering Workshop For Science And Math Teachers

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2007 Annual Conference & Exposition


Honolulu, Hawaii

Publication Date

June 24, 2007

Start Date

June 24, 2007

End Date

June 27, 2007



Conference Session

Engineering Student Involvement in K-12 Programs

Tagged Division

K-12 & Pre-College Engineering

Page Count


Page Numbers

12.785.1 - 12.785.34



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Paper Authors


Jed Lyons University of South Carolina

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Jed Lyons is a Professor of Mechanical Engineering and the Faculty Director of the Center for Teaching Excellence at the University of South Carolina. His passion is engaging learners of all ages in the processes of inquiry and discovery through active engagement and problem-situation learning.

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Veronica Addison University of South Carolina

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Veronica Addison in a Ph.D. Candidate in Mechanical Engineering at the University of South Carolina and a former GK-12 Fellow. Her research and teaching interest include sustainability, the built environment and energy and environmental design.

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Stephen Thompson University of South Carolina

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Stephen Thompson is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Instruction and Teacher Education at the University of South Carolna. He teaches and conducts research in the areas of science, technology, engineering and mathematics education.

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NOTE: The first page of text has been automatically extracted and included below in lieu of an abstract

GK-12 Engineering Workshop for Science and Math Teachers


This paper describes the implementation and outcomes of a summer workshop for middle school mathematics and science teachers. The focus was on engineering-oriented activities that integrated mathematics and science concepts. The paper describes four such activities: Forces and Math, Pendulums and Graphing, Water Rocket Design and Analysis, and Yogurt Cup Speakers. The summer workshop was the culminating event for a cohort of engineering graduate students supported by the National Science Foundation’s Graduate Teaching Fellows in K-12 Education (GK-12) program. The workshop activities were developed by the GK-12 Fellows during the school year and tested in their Teacher Partners’ classrooms. The activities were designed to integrate math and science learning through real-life problems. Seventy-three science and math teachers from forty-six schools participated in the workshop.

Information available to report on outcomes of the workshop was obtained from an exit survey administered to the participating teachers. An interesting finding is that the math teachers strongly agreed that the activities were applicable to math and improved their ability to teach math, but the science teachers were less positive about the math content of the activities. An opposite trend was observed for the questions about science. The science teachers strongly agreed that the activities were applicable to science and improved their ability to teach science, but the math teachers were less positive about the science. The two types of teachers performed the exact same activities at the exact same time, and usually in a small group that contained both math and science teachers, yet perceived the workshop differently. This may be interpreted that because the workshop activities used engineering problems to integrate math and science concepts, the math teachers thought it was a good math workshop and the science teachers thought it was a good science workshop. This finding could have implications for future in- service and pre-service teacher professional development efforts.


The Graduate Teaching Fellows in K-12 Education (GK-12) program provides support and training to graduate students in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) disciplines that allow them to build partnerships with local K-12 schools, enhance STEM instruction, and improve student learning of STEM concepts.1 At this university, the Fellows are partnered with a science or math teacher two days a week during the school year. The Fellows also enroll in a one hour graduate level course focused on teaching strategies. They spend 10 hours working in the classroom per week, 1 hour in planning with the teacher-partner, and 5 hours in activity preparation.

Each summer, our GK-12 program culminates with a workshop for middle school math and science teachers. There has been research focused on and related to professional development through engineering, science, and math workshops for teachers2, 3, 4, 5, 6, but few report outcomes based on participant’s subject area. This paper aims to describe the implementation and

Lyons, J., & Addison, V., & Thompson, S. (2007, June), Gk 12 Engineering Workshop For Science And Math Teachers Paper presented at 2007 Annual Conference & Exposition, Honolulu, Hawaii. 10.18260/1-2--1908

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