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Integration Of Engineering Principles In High School Algebra Courses

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2004 Annual Conference


Salt Lake City, Utah

Publication Date

June 20, 2004

Start Date

June 20, 2004

End Date

June 23, 2004



Conference Session

Emerging Trends in Engineering Education

Page Count


Page Numbers

9.779.1 - 9.779.10



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Paper Authors

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Taryn Bayles

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

Session 1793

Integration of Engineering Principles in High School Algebra Courses

Taryn Melkus Bayles Department of Chemical and Biochemical Engineering Anne M. Spence Department of Mechanical Engineering Claudia Morrell Center for Women and Information Technology University of Maryland Baltimore County


In 2003 the state of Maryland implemented an education initiative which requires all Maryland students to enroll in algebra classes and pass a high school assessment in algebra/data analysis in order to graduate. Our Introducing Engineering Through Mathematics project, funded by the National Science Foundation (EEC - 212101), introduces entry level algebra students to simple yet valuable engineering problems and applications which can be solved using algebra.

The development of the curriculum is a collaboration among UMBC faculty and students, local middle-school and high-school teachers, UMBC’s Center for Women and Information Technology and the Maryland State Department of Education. Many students fail to recognize the importance of algebra in their lives when only exposed to simple applications of algebra (two trains traveling in opposite directions, the eastbound train travels at 80 mph and the westbound travels at 60 mph; determine when the trains will be 490 miles apart). They are often unaware that these same simple algebra skills can be used to solve very real and important engineering problems (e.g. determine the speed at which an aircraft must fly in order to stay aloft). Through increased awareness and relevance an early interest in pursuing engineering as a career may be achieved.

The curricula developed in this project targets simple engineering problems in fluid mechanics, electricity, and structures that can be solved using algebra. The curricula are provided on CD’s with videos of hands-on activities and explanations. A week-long training workshop will be conducted summer 2004 for in-service mathematics teachers and undergraduate teaching fellows. The undergraduate teaching fellows1 will provide hands-on instructional classroom support for the middle-school and high-school teachers, helping them to integrate the CD curricula into their courses.

“Proceedings of the 2004 American Society for Engineering Education Annual Conference & Exposition Copyright ©2004, American Society for Engineering Education”

Bayles, T. (2004, June), Integration Of Engineering Principles In High School Algebra Courses Paper presented at 2004 Annual Conference, Salt Lake City, Utah. 10.18260/1-2--13103

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