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Home Schoolers In An Engineering/Education K12 Outreach Program

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2006 Annual Conference & Exposition


Chicago, Illinois

Publication Date

June 18, 2006

Start Date

June 18, 2006

End Date

June 21, 2006



Conference Session

Ensuring Access to K - 12 Engineering Programs

Tagged Division

K-12 & Pre-College Engineering

Page Count


Page Numbers

11.688.1 - 11.688.7



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Paper Authors


Lawrence Genalo Iowa State University

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is Professor and Assistant Chair of the Department of Materials Science and Engineering at Iowa State University. He received a Ph. D. in Applied Mathematics with Systems Engineering emphasis in 1977, served as Chair for Freshman Programs and DELOS Divisions, and runs the Toying With TechnologySM Program at Iowa State.

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Jamie Gilchrist Iowa State University

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Jamie Gilchrist is a preservice teacher in the Department of Curriculum and Instruction's elementary education program. She is an undergraduate teaching and laboratory assistant for the Toying With Technology Program.

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

Home Schoolers in an Engineering/Education K12 Outreach Program


The Toying With TechnologySM program (TWT) has been offered to preservice elementary and secondary teachers for ten years. This program is designed to explain the principles behind many of the technological innovations in wide use today. This is accomplished through hands-on laboratory experiences. This includes, but is not limited to, experiences with programming, global positioning systems, and biomedical engineering. This program uses engineering as a basis to teach math, science, technology and problem solving concepts.

This paper will describe the twelve week experience of a home schooled group engaged in the TWT program. Home schooling is a growing trend in the United States and it is estimated that two million American children are home schooled each year with this number increasing by 15- 20% per year1. The students’ progress in this program was measured through specific reflection questions, as well as observations and reflections by the TWT facilitators and the cooperating home school representative and the parents of the home schooled students.

The Toying With TechnologySM Program

The Toying With TechnologySM Program at Iowa State University has been reported on many times in the literature2-7. This program includes an undergraduate and a graduate engineering class for education majors as well as a large K-12 outreach effort. The undergraduate course has enrolled hundreds of preservice teachers, the graduate class enrolls 15 – 20 per summer, and the outreach program touches over 2000 K-12 students per year. Included in the undergraduate class is a month-long field experience at which the preservice teachers become facilitators of engineering lessons with local K-12 students. In the fall 2005 semester this field experience was with a group of home-schooled students.

Home Schooling and TWT

Up until the 1850's, most children in the United States were educated at home.8,9 Within the past twenty five years, the United States has seen a tremendous upswing in the number of children being home schooled. In 1999, there were an estimated 850,000 students being home schooled across the United States.9,10 More recently in 2003, that number has grown to an estimated 1.1 million students.8,9,10 It is estimated that this number will continue to steadily increase in the future.10 Parents have decided to home school their children for a number of reasons. Recently it was reported by thirty-one percent of home schooling parents that the most important reason for home schooling was their concern about the environment of other schools.11 Thirty percent said the most important reason was to provide religious or moral instruction not taught in

Genalo, L., & Gilchrist, J. (2006, June), Home Schoolers In An Engineering/Education K12 Outreach Program Paper presented at 2006 Annual Conference & Exposition, Chicago, Illinois. 10.18260/1-2--591

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