June 22, 2008
June 22, 2008
June 25, 2008
K-12 & Pre-College Engineering
13.686.1 - 13.686.9
iMELT: integrating Mathematics, Engineering, and Literacy in the Teaching of Mathematics
iMELT is a program developed by mathematics, engineering and education faculty at Louisiana Tech University. The College of Engineering and Science and College of Education have teamed up with area school teachers from under-performing schools to develop engaging projects. These projects utilize techniques that have proven successful in Integrated Engineering and Science Curricula in the college. These techniques include team building, collaborative learning, and hands-on activities.
The purpose of the project was to provide opportunities for the development and active use of math learning activities that integrate best pedagogical practices associated with the use of literacy strategies and connections to real world relevance from the discipline of engineering. Over the course of the project the participants were engaged in activities involving the design and construction of various mechanical and physical devices such as gear assemblies, bridges, levers, vehicles, and catapults. These provide practical activities as a connection to the instruction of science, engineering, and mathematics. Additionally, the positive effect of literacy strategies on student achievement in the math and science disciplines was incorporated into the pedagogical activities.
Teams of participants were charged with the task of identifying the math and science concepts and procedures embedded within the engineering activities and connecting those concepts and procedures to components of their curriculum.
The iMELT project consists of three phases. The first phase is summer professional development camps for the teachers. The second is a series of three weekend workshops, and the third is the implementation of the concepts and projects into the junior high and high school curriculum.
Results of the project are presented which include a sample overview of project and teacher developed activities, as well as feedback from implementation into current curriculum.
In his foreword to the national report Before It’s Too Late, John Glenn summarized the state of mathematics and science education across the country when he stated that
“we are failing to capture the interest of our youth for scientific and mathematical ideas. We are not instructing them to the level of competence they will need to live their lives and work at their jobs productively. Perhaps worst of all, we are not challenging their imaginations deeply enough.”1
According to the National Science Board’s Science and Engineering Indicators 2004, enrollment in undergraduate engineering and science programs has been in decline since the 1980s2. Clearly,
Tims, H., & Turner, G., & Schillinger, D. (2008, June), Imelt: Integrating Mathematics, Engineering, And Literacy In The Teaching Of Mathematics Paper presented at 2008 Annual Conference & Exposition, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. 10.18260/1-2--4187
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