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Imelt: Integrating Mathematics, Engineering, And Literacy In The Teaching Of Mathematics

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2008 Annual Conference & Exposition


Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

Publication Date

June 22, 2008

Start Date

June 22, 2008

End Date

June 25, 2008



Conference Session

Enhancing K12 Mathematics Education with Engineering

Tagged Division

K-12 & Pre-College Engineering

Page Count


Page Numbers

13.686.1 - 13.686.9



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Paper Authors


Heath Tims Louisiana Tech University

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Dr. Heath Tims is an assistant professor of Mechanical Engineering at Louisiana Tech University. He received his B.S. in Mechanical Engineering from Louisiana Tech University in 2001. He received his M.S. and Ph.D. degrees in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Texas at Austin, in 2003 and 2005 respectively. His research focus is dynamic systems, modeling, and controls. He is also involved with STEM educational research at the college and pre-college level.

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Galen Turner Louisiana Tech University

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Dr. Galen Turner III is the Maxfield Professor of Mathematics and Statistics at Louisiana Tech University. He received his B.S. from Loyola University, New Orleans, Louisiana, in 1992 with majors in Mathematics and Religious Studies. He received his M.S. and Ph.D. degrees in Mathematics from Louisiana State University, Baton Rouge, in 1994 and 1999 respectively. His current research is in the area of graph minors and computational mathematics as related to a number of interdisciplinary areas of study. In addition to research collaboration, Dr. Turner has served as an educational consultant for centers in Texas and Louisiana.

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Don Schillinger Louisiana Tech University

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Dr. Don Schillinger is an associate professor in the College of Eduation at Louisiana Tech University. He received his B.S in Chemistry Education in 1995 from the University of Central Florida. He received his M.Ed. and Ph.D. in Curriculum and Instruction – Science Education from the University of Mississippi in 2002 and 2004, respectively.

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

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

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: © 2008 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