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Introducing Engineering Concepts Into The Early Algebra Classroom

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2003 Annual Conference


Nashville, Tennessee

Publication Date

June 22, 2003

Start Date

June 22, 2003

End Date

June 25, 2003



Conference Session

Mathematics in the Transition

Page Count


Page Numbers

8.774.1 - 8.774.11



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Paper Authors

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Claudia Morrell

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Taryn Bayles

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Anne Spence

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

Session 2665

Introducing Engineering Concepts into the Early Algebra Classroom

Anne Spence, Taryn Bayles, Claudia Morrell

University of Maryland – Baltimore County Baltimore, Maryland


The Introduction to Engineering through Mathematics project seeks to provide algebra students with a link between mathematics and engineering. While most students see the application of algebra to determining how many apples can be purchased at the store with the money in their pocket, they are often unaware that the same types of mathematics can be applied to determine the speed at which an aircraft needs to fly in order to stay aloft. By making these connections for the students, the program seeks to make students aware and excited about the field of engineering. Unfortunately, most students will not be exposed to the field of engineering unless they are involved in an upper level physics or technology class. Since algebra is a required course in many states, this presents a most inviting field in which to plant the seeds of engineering. While algebra provides an opportunity to plant the seed of engineering in all students, it seems logical that this same seed can be encouraged to grow through engineering examples in geometry, trigonometry, and other upper level mathematics courses.

The goal of this project, sponsored by the National Science Foundation, is to increase student enrollment and student diversity in college engineering programs throughout the state of Maryland and, potentially, throughout the country. The program incorporates five objectives in order to attain this goal: (1) develop CD curriculum kits that target different fields of engineering (chemical, electrical, civil, and mechanical) that can be used in both middle and high school algebra classes; (2) provide a summer workshop for in-service mathematics teachers and undergraduate engineering Teaching Fellows; (3) develop an undergraduate engineering Teaching Fellows program to provide hands-on instructional classroom support for middle and high school algebra teachers to help them integrate the CD curricula into their courses; (4) maintain student interest in engineering at schools through the development and institutionalization of an after-school engineering program that culminates in a series of collaborative and competitive activities; and (5) increase the involvement of females and other underrepresented groups in engineering by providing female and minority engineering role models in the classroom and developing curricula that encourage interest and participation by all groups. This paper presents preliminary results of the development of the fluid mechanics and electricity CDs.

“Proceedings of the 2003 American Society for Engineering Education Annual Conference & Exposition Copyright© 2003, American Society for Engineering Education”

Morrell, C., & Bayles, T., & Spence, A. (2003, June), Introducing Engineering Concepts Into The Early Algebra Classroom Paper presented at 2003 Annual Conference, Nashville, Tennessee. 10.18260/1-2--11467

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