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Gk 12 Enhances Teaching Skills Of Engineering Graduate Students

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2003 Annual Conference


Nashville, Tennessee

Publication Date

June 22, 2003

Start Date

June 22, 2003

End Date

June 25, 2003



Conference Session

Outreach and Freshman Programs

Page Count


Page Numbers

8.600.1 - 8.600.9

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Paper Authors

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John Brader

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Jed Lyons

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

Session 2566

GK-12 Enhances Teaching Skills of Engineering Graduate Students

Jed S. Lyons, John S. Brader and Christine Ebert University of South Carolina Columbia, SC 29208

Abstract The National Science Foundation’s Graduate Teaching Fellows in K-12 Education (GK-12) program at the University of South Carolina provides fellowships for graduate students in engineering to serve as content resources in K-12 public schools. During its first year, the USC GK-12 program improved the teaching and communication skills of 11 engineering graduate students, enhanced the ability of 51 elementary school teachers to use engineering applications to teach science, and inspired hundreds of elementary children. This cohort of Fellows included 4 PhD, 5 MS and 2 BS/MS students from the departments of mechanical, chemical, civil, and environmental engineering. The Fall 2001 cohort of 11 teacher partners were from schools that are part of USC’s Professional Development School network. The spring 2002 cohort of teachers were from schools that have not traditionally benefited from a relationship with the university. In addition, 29 elementary teachers from across the state participated in the GK-12 Summer Institute for Teachers. During the institute, the Fellows presented to the teachers the best activities that they had implemented during the school year. For most Fellows, this was their first opportunity to teach adults in a formal setting. In a post-institute survey, all of the participants strongly agreed or agreed that the Fellows were good teachers. The comprehensive assessment data indicates that the program is meeting its objectives. This paper focuses on the experiences of the graduate students participating in the program. This includes descriptions of an education course developed specifically for the GK-12 fellows, their in-school activities with two different populations of students and their development and implementation of the GK-12 Summer Institute for Teachers.

I. Introduction

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. A major objective of USC’s projects is to help prepare today's engineering graduate students to be the engineering faculty of tomorrow. To succeed, these future faculty must be prepared to teach to a generation of students that has grown up in a global, high-tech society. To teach these students, they will need better communication and teaching skills, and greater knowledge of cognitive processes that enhance student learning than today's faculty possesses. Two major program goals that address this objective:

Proceedings of the 2003 American Society for Engineering Education Annual Conference & Exposition, Copyright 2003, American Society for Engineering Education

Brader, J., & Lyons, J. (2003, June), Gk 12 Enhances Teaching Skills Of Engineering Graduate Students Paper presented at 2003 Annual Conference, Nashville, Tennessee.

ASEE holds the copyright on this document. It may be read by the public free of charge. Authors may archive their work on personal websites or in institutional repositories with the following citation: © 2003 American Society for Engineering Education. Other scholars may excerpt or quote from these materials with the same citation. When excerpting or quoting from Conference Proceedings, authors should, in addition to noting the ASEE copyright, list all the original authors and their institutions and name the host city of the conference. - Last updated April 1, 2015