June 26, 2011
June 26, 2011
June 29, 2011
Minorities in Engineering
22.889.1 - 22.889.14
INSTRUCT – Integrating NASA Science, Technology, and Research in Undergraduate Curriculum and TrainingA key factor in increasing the number of underrepresented minorities in science, technology,engineering, and mathematics (STEM) disciplines is through the stimulation of the student’sinterests in these disciplines. Several underrepresented minorities at our university are firstgeneration college students in their family, and could fail to understand the applicability ofSTEM disciplines. In addition, many students find the basic STEM discipline courses to be hard,boring, and do not realize the practical applications of the concepts and techniques that they arelearning in their STEM classes. Agencies such as National Aerospace and Space Administration(NASA) require and apply several of the basic STEM content and require an educated workforcetrained in the STEM disciplines. In addition, these and other agencies have a mission to increasethe number of underrepresented minorities and women in STEM areas. The INSTRUCT projectat our university focuses on integrating NASA science, technology and research content into theundergraduate curriculum. Our INSTRUCT project strives to significantly enhance andstimulate undergraduate learning in the areas of science, technology, engineering andmathematics by utilizing the relevant STEM content from NASA, sponsored research andeducation programs from NASA, in conjunction with our university faculty expertise.The mission of NASA and its four directorates (Aeronautics, Exploration Systems, Science, andSpace Operations) requires STEM content that includes the bio-chemical sciences, physicalsciences (earth and atmospheric sciences), engineering and mathematics. The INSTRUCTprogram is developing, implementing, evaluating and disseminating innovative pedagogicalconcepts for integrating the associated NASA STEM content into the STEM undergraduatecourses at our university. The courses that have been chosen for inclusion are large enrollmentcore courses that are critical to undergraduate student success. This provides excellentopportunities to incorporate NASA content towards motivating the student engagement andsuccess. Specific undergraduate courses in astronomy, mathematics, biology, chemistry andmechanical engineering are currently targeted. This paper will discuss the INSTRUCT program,development and integration of the NASA STEM content into the existing course curriculum;teaching and delivery of the enhanced course content, evaluation, and its impact on the studentstimulation of the learning, understanding, engagement and success. The success and impact ofthe project includes formative and summative evaluation of the project goals, as well as longterm tracking of selected students on the influence of the INSTRUCT program in motivatingthem to pursue STEM based higher education and careers. This potentially could lead to a longterm societal impact by increasing the number of underrepresented minorities in STEMworkforce areas.
Mohan, R. V., & Kelkar, A. D., & Schimmel, K. A., & Kelkar, V. (2011, June), INSTRUCT: Integrating NASA Science, Technology, and Research in Undergraduate Curriculum and Training Paper presented at 2011 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, Vancouver, BC. 10.18260/1-2--18891
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