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Integrating Engineering To Middle School Curriculum By Training Teachers

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Conference

2010 Annual Conference & Exposition

Location

Louisville, Kentucky

Publication Date

June 20, 2010

Start Date

June 20, 2010

End Date

June 23, 2010

ISSN

2153-5965

Conference Session

Chemical Engineering Education: Underclass Years

Tagged Division

Chemical Engineering

Page Count

8

Page Numbers

15.762.1 - 15.762.8

Permanent URL

https://peer.asee.org/16108

Download Count

35

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Paper Authors

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Sundararajan Madihally Oklahoma State Univ.

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Sundararajan V. Madihally is an Associate Professor in the School of Chemical Engineering at Oklahoma State University. He received his PhD from Wayne State University in Chemical Engineering and held a research fellow position at Massachusetts General Hospital/Harvard Medical School/Shriners Hospital for Children. His research interests include biomaterials, tissue engineering using stem cells, the development of therapies for traumatic conditions and engineering education.

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Marcus Duffy Oklahoma State University

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Marcus is an Undergraduate student in Chemical Engineering at OSU. He is expected to graduate in 2011.

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Lynn Franzmann Stillwater

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Lynn Franzmann teaches biology at Stillwater Middle School and participated in the TERMS project.

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Rebekah Reece Stillwater

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Rebekah Reece teaches mathematics at Stillwater Middle School and participated in the TERMS project.

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Karen High Oklahoma State University

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Karen High is an Associate Professor in the School of Chemical Engineering at Oklahoma State University. She received her B.S. from University of Michigan and PhD from Penn State University in Chemical Engineering. Her research intersts include Sustainable Process Design, Multicriteria Decision Making, Engineering Education, K-12 Engineering for Teachers and Students.

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

Integrating Engineering to Middle School Curriculum by Training Teachers

ABSTRACT. Providing K-12 students an earlier exposure to engineering is recognized as a way to prepare them for postsecondary courses. There has been a significant increase in academies and workshops addressing this concept. Since there is a total turnover of students each year, training K-12 teachers has been thought as an efficient approach. Further, teachers can integrate engineering concepts during the academic year which provides a natural transition. Based on this concept, two middle school teachers (teaching Biology and Math) were selected to participate in research dealing with tissue engineering. Teachers worked for six weeks (four days a week) within the research laboratory on formation of porous structures using biodegradable polymers. Teachers were exposed to the technique of forming porous structures using chitosan and gelatin solution in various shapes using the apparatus available in the laboratory. A low cost freeze drying system that is safe for operation by sixth grade students was developed. The overall cost of performing the experiment is also significantly cheap and less time consuming. An envisioned project for the current academic year under implementation in the sixth grade is freeze drying chitosan-gelatin solutions. Biology teacher will ask the students to make scaffolds that can support the regeneration of various body parts. First, students will perform a survey to determine available biodegradable materials for use in the body along with cost estimation. Once they determine what polymer they need, then they will freeze and air dry the premade chitosan-gelatin solution to form films and porous structures. Here, students will make scaffolds of shape and dimension that mimic a specific body part. Students are also asked to evaluate the number of pores using digital scanning electron micrographs. We anticipate that the entire hands-on experience will stimulate their interest towards engineering or STEM fields. INTRODUCTION Many recent surveys indicate disinterest in engineering career by nearly 85% of 8 to 17 old students [1]. A major reason cited by the students is the lack of awareness about engineering. As most students advance through middle school science classes, their attitude toward science become more negative and their interests decrease most in the seventh grade [2-5]. Thus, the middle grades are a critical period for students, representing the period most beneficial to provide engaging academic opportunities. With the increase in demand of qualified engineers, the lack of interest has been thought as future problem. There has been a significant increase in academies and workshops to provide an early exposure to engineering, which is recognized as a way to prepare K-12 for postsecondary courses. Focusing on teachers and students in the middle grades targets a population which is not being served by existing local outreach activities. While there are several programs focusing on students and teachers in high school, for example Project Lead the Way [6], there are few designed for lower grades. Since there is a total turnover of students each year, training K-12 teachers is an efficient approach. Further, teachers can integrate engineering concepts during the academic year which provides a natural transition. Based on this concept, Transitioning Engineering Research to Middle Schools (TERMS) was initiated. TERMS draws STEM middle school teachers from local school districts in north-central Oklahoma; Stillwater Public Schools resides in the same community as Oklahoma State University. TERMS builds on a large body of

Madihally, S., & Duffy, M., & Franzmann, L., & Reece, R., & High, K. (2010, June), Integrating Engineering To Middle School Curriculum By Training Teachers Paper presented at 2010 Annual Conference & Exposition, Louisville, Kentucky. https://peer.asee.org/16108

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