June 14, 2009
June 14, 2009
June 17, 2009
K-12 & Pre-College Engineering
14.726.1 - 14.726.10
Incorporating STEM Concepts in the Classroom through Problem Based Learning
West Virginia University College of Engineering and Mineral Resources and The EdVenture Group have partnered successfully over the past four years to increase the awareness and classroom applications of engineering curriculum through technology with 7th-12th grade students across the state of WV. Math and Science teachers from across the state have collaborated with education consultants, industry professionals, graduate students, and one another to gain knowledge and create units that focus on STEM careers and curriculum. The units, known as TIME (Tools for Integrating Math and Engineering) Kits, are stored electronically on a free teacher resource site for use in classrooms across the country. www.thesolutionsite.com
The 12-hour units of instruction are developed during a week-long workshop that provides classroom teachers with the opportunity to work with engineering faculty, graduate assistants and industry experts. The model is based on providing time for teachers to learn, tools for teachers to use and strategies to assist them in focusing on and connecting engineering to STEM course work. By connecting university experts, industry experts and 7th-12th grade educators a new network has been created to link these groups and bring all areas of knowledge and application to classroom instructional units. All units are based on content standards, 21st century skills, and a problem-based learning approach and translate regionally to other states Pre and post-assessments are administered to students who take part in a TIME Kit unit to gauge the acquisition of math and/or science concepts as well as attitudinal data concerning engineering as a career choice. This paper describes a sample TIME Kit for illustration. The paper also shows how, over three years, the partners have overcome roadblocks in teacher training, which teacher incentives to use and which to avoid, and how to ensure a solid program evaluation.
It is commonly known that the United States is not producing enough STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) undergraduates to compete in an increasingly global market. One common concern shared by college and high school administrators is how to educate high school teachers in math or science about what engineering is. Teachers report that they are reluctant to discuss engineering applications – not because they do not understand force, vectors, and chemical change, but because they simply did not have an engineering course in college or they don’t know how similar engineering and pure science applications can be. Many times, we find that teachers are actually much closer to explaining engineering concepts than they think; once they build some expertise and confidence, they become enthusiastic about doing so.
Taylor, L., & Shaffer, E., & Winn, G., & Hensel, R. (2009, June), Incorporating Stem Concepts In The Classroom Through Problem Based Learning Paper presented at 2009 Annual Conference & Exposition, Austin, Texas. 10.18260/1-2--4769
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