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Infusing Engineering Into Public Schools

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2002 Annual Conference


Montreal, Canada

Publication Date

June 16, 2002

Start Date

June 16, 2002

End Date

June 19, 2002



Conference Session

K-12 Outreach Initiatives

Page Count


Page Numbers

7.667.1 - 7.667.7



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Paper Authors

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Martha Cyr

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Lacey Prouty

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Erik Rushton

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Brian Gravel

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

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Session 2530

Infusing Engineering into Public Schools

By: E. Rushton, M. Cyr, B. Gravel, L. Prouty Tufts University, Center for Engineering Education Outreach


In 1998, the Tufts University Center for Engineering Educational Outreach (CEEO) was the recipient of a grant from the National Science Foundation (NSF) to provide fellowships placing graduate engineering and computer science students with teachers in Massachusetts’ primary and secondary public schools. The primary intent of Tufts’ outreach program centered on introducing graduate-level engineering students as resources to assist classroom teachers in implementing activity and constructivist based engineering curricula. Massachusetts is the first state in the nation to require engineering education at all levels in public schools, through the adoption of Science and Technology/Engineering frameworks; as a result, the need to develop specific curricula in support of these new frameworks is particularly important. This NSF grant facilitated direct graduate student support of teachers recently charged with implementing novel educational frameworks involving engineering, as well as indirect undergraduate student support.

Tufts CEEO GK-12 Outreach Project

The Tufts University GK-12 project is a three-year project focused on pairing graduate-level engineering and computer science students with classroom teachers. The CEEO had 6 graduate fellows in the first year of the project, and currently has 8 graduate fellows working in the classroom. Selection for program participation involves a yearly application process subsequent or concomitant to admission to the School of Engineering. Students complete an application with essay and submit it to the Center for Engineering Educational Outreach for consideration. Top candidates are then identified from the applicant pool and offered individual interviews with the grant’s principal investigator. Throughout the application process, assessment is made of individual experience, understanding of Center’s mission and vision for the development of primary and secondary engineering education, and ability to work effectively with teachers and children involved with program.

Within the graduate academic program, GK-12 graduate fellowships take the place of a traditional research assistant (RA) or teaching assistant (TA) position at the School of Engineering providing tuition and stipend. Fellows spend 20 hours per week on the project, with 16 hours (2 full school days) per week spent in the classroom of their partnering teacher. The remainder of the time allotted by fellows is spent taking part in seminars relating appropriate educational pedagogy, discussing classroom strategies for learning, and interacting with undergraduates working to support curricula ideas. Currently, graduate fellows formally partner with 10 technology education and science teachers, as well as 3 math teachers in grades 3 – 9. Each year, fellows interact formally with approximately 470 students in technology education and science classrooms and 250 students in math classrooms. Informal support takes place with

Proceedings of the 2002 American Society for Engineering Education Annual Conference & Exposition Copyright © 2002, American Society for Engineering Education

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Cyr, M., & Prouty, L., & Rushton, E., & Gravel, B. (2002, June), Infusing Engineering Into Public Schools Paper presented at 2002 Annual Conference, Montreal, Canada. 10.18260/1-2--10276

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