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Integrating K-12 Engineering and Science: Balancing Inquiry, Design, Standards and Classroom Realities

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Conference

2013 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition

Location

Atlanta, Georgia

Publication Date

June 23, 2013

Start Date

June 23, 2013

End Date

June 26, 2013

ISSN

2153-5965

Conference Session

iSTEM

Tagged Division

K-12 & Pre-College Engineering

Page Count

12

Page Numbers

23.775.1 - 23.775.12

Permanent URL

https://peer.asee.org/19789

Download Count

19

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Paper Authors

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Marion Usselman Georgia Institute of Technology

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Marion Usselman is Associate Director for Federal Outreach and Research for Georgia Tech's Center for Education Integrating Science, Mathematics and Computing (CEISMC). She has been with CEISMC since 1996 developing and managing university-K-12 educational partnership programs and assisting Georgia Tech faculty in creating K-12 educational outreach initiatives. Before coming to CEISMC, Marion earned her Ph.D. in Biophysics from the Johns Hopkins University and taught biology at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte.

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Mike Ryan Georgia Institute of Technology

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Jeffrey H Rosen Georgia Tech - CEISMC

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After fourteen years in the K-12 classroom teaching mathematics and engineering, Rosen took a position as program director at CEISMC. Since starting, Rosen has published numerous papers on using robotics as tool for instruction and on how to manage robotics competition to increase student interest and engagement in STEM. Rosen contributed a chapter to the book Robotics in K-12 Education on the FLL program model we developed that provides a benefit to student involvement in STEM. Rosen is involved in two NSF-funded research projects that use engineering design and robotics in STEM education. The NSF projects are SLIDER:Science Learning Integrating Design, Engineering, and Robotics and the recently awarded AMP-IT-UP:Advanced Manufacturing and Prototyping Integrating Technology to Unlock Potential.

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Fred Stillwell Georgia Tech - CEISMC

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Fred Stillwell is a program director for Georgia Tech’s Center for Education Integrating Science, Mathematics and Computing (CEISMC.) He recently joined CEISMC after a 20-year career in the Cobb County, Georgia schools, most recently at East Cobb Middle School in Marietta, Georgia. At East Cobb, Mr. Stillwell developed and taught an integrated science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) course as well as mentoring robotics and other engineering teams in various competitions including FIRST Lego League and the FIRST Tech Challenge.
Current projects include developing an integrated Robotics and Engineering course funded through Federal Race To the Top funds and the NSF project: AMP-IT-UP: Advanced Manufacturing and Prototyping Integrating Technology to Unlock Potential.

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Norman F. Robinson III Georgia Institute of Technology

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Norman Robinson has been teaching STEM for seventeen years and is currently serving as an education outreach manager for the Center for Education Integrating Science, Mathematics and Computing (CEISMC). Prior to my service began at CEISMC in June 2011, Robinson served as a STEM Magnet Mathematics teacher for Marietta STEM Middle School for two years. Robinson went to Marietta Middle School after working seven years as an Aerospace Education specialist for the Aerospace Education Services Project for NASA, based at NASA Langley Research Center and NASA Glenn Research Center. Robinson's career in education started in Greenville, SC teaching mathematics at Tanglewood Middle School and Riverside High School for seven years beginning in 1995.
Currently, Robinson is a student in the Doctoral Program for Teaching and Learning - Mathematics Education at Georgia State University. Robinson earned a master of science degree in Natural and Applied Sciences with a concentration in Aviation Sciences from Oklahoma State University and a bachelor of science degree in Mathematics from Tennessee Technological University.

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Brian Douglas Gane Georgia Institute of Technology

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Dr. Brian Gane is a postdoctoral fellow at the Center for Education Integrating Science, Mathematics, and Computing (CEISMC) at the Georgia Institute of Technology. Dr. Gane's research focuses on skill acquisition, STEM education, and assessment & modeling.

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Sabrina Grossman Georgia Tech: Center for Integrating Science, Math, and Computing

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Abstract

Integrating K-12 Engineering and Science: Balancing Inquiry, Design, Standards and Classroom RealitiesThe new Framework for K-12 Science Education, developed by the National Academy ofSciences, proposes markedly increasing the profile of engineering practices and concepts withinthe domain of K-12 science education. Concurrently, there is also a move to increase thevisibility and rigor of the science and mathematics concepts that underlie activities taught in K-12 engineering/technology classes. And in all areas there is a push to increase the level ofexperiential and constructivist learning. The challenge for developers of K-12 instructionalmaterials for K-12 education, both for core science classes as well as engineering/technologyclasses, is to create educational experiences where students learn the disciplinary concepts andpractices mandated by state and national standards, while concurrently exposing students toimportant concepts from other domains and maximizing the experiential nature of the studentexplorations. To be effective and sustainable, the curriculum also needs to be mindful of therealities and limitations inherent in our modern system of schools: accountability pressures,regular benchmark testing of students, large classes, ranges in teacher pedagogical contentknowledge, and the pervasiveness of annual standardized testing.The (*** Institute of Higher Education) currently has multiple large sponsored programs thatrequire the development of curricula for 8th grade physical science and 8th grade engineering/technology courses. The curricula need to align with the Next Generation Science Standards,meet state curriculum standards, and be implementable in regular public school classrooms. Ourteam, consisting of curriculum developers, educational researchers, and classroom teachers, isdeveloping curricula through iterative design and implementation cycles, borrowing fromdesign-based research. Successive redesigns are based on multiple sources of data and feedback:task analysis and research on science content learning, alpha-testing of the activities inthe laboratory (without students), curriculum design with our teachers during professionaldevelopment workshops, and pilot testing curriculum in authentic contexts (i.e., with our partnerteachers implementing the curriculum in their classrooms). Instruments include design decisionlogs, classroom observation protocols, surveys, student artifacts, and concept inventories.The level of experiential or constructivist learning in science classrooms is generallyconceptualized by levels of inquiry. A common scale of inquiry encompasses ConfirmationInquiry, Structured Inquiry, Guided Inquiry, and Open Inquiry. Often there seems to be animplicit assumption among reform science educators and learning science researcher that themore “open” inquiry the better. The constraints of modern schools and the requirement thatstudents master defined and assessable disciplinary content mandate a level of scaffolding that isseemingly inconsistent with Open Inquiry. Likewise, researchers studying the engineeringdesign process have developed hierarchical categories of design, with Free Design beinganalogous to Open Inquiry. This paper will explore the different curricular compromises thatmust be made when creating multi-week instructional units for science and engineering classesthat encourage deep learning and increased student engagement, but that can also be realisticallyimplemented in regular schools by regular teachers.

Usselman, M., & Ryan, M., & Rosen, J. H., & Stillwell, F., & Robinson, N. F., & Gane, B. D., & Grossman, S. (2013, June), Integrating K-12 Engineering and Science: Balancing Inquiry, Design, Standards and Classroom Realities Paper presented at 2013 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, Atlanta, Georgia. https://peer.asee.org/19789

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