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Introducing Teachers To Engineering Practice

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2002 Annual Conference


Montreal, Canada

Publication Date

June 16, 2002

Start Date

June 16, 2002

End Date

June 19, 2002



Conference Session

ASEE Multimedia Session

Page Count


Page Numbers

7.752.1 - 7.752.7



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Leroy Oberto

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Sheryl Sorby

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Session 2793

Introducing Teachers to Engineering Practice

Leroy J. Oberto, Sheryl A. Sorby School of Technology/Engineering Fundamentals Michigan Technological University Houghton, Michigan


Michigan Technological University has developed a new Master of Science in Applied Science Education for inservice teachers. As part of this program, teachers will be required to complete a 12-credit applied science core focusing on real-life engineering applications of math and science. The first of the courses from this core, The Engineering Process, was offered during the summer of 2001 on Michigan Tech's campus. The purpose of the course was to familiarize inservice sec- ondary math and science teachers with an overall view of engineering and to the methodology and implications of the engineering process. This course was delivered in an intensive two week long (ten day) format and drew upon the talents of several faculty from many different areas within the College of Engineering and the School of Technology. Students were exposed to many different disciplines as faculty explained the societal, economic and technological significance of key areas of their fields of expertise. The students designed, analyzed, constructed and tested truss bridges made from file folders according to specifications provided by the instructors. Finally, each stu- dent was directed to develop a teaching unit that integrates some of the concepts of scientific inquiry and application discussed in the course into their 7-12 teaching. This paper describes our Masters program, provides an outline of the course titled “The Engineering Process,” and presents results from our first offering of the course.


The precollege education system in America is currently under pressure to adopt standards-based curricula. Outcome assessment of learning is of paramount importance in this new educational climate. Nearly all of the national standards in math, science and technology include standards related to the inclusion of “real-life” applications of material1-3, however, many teachers are at a loss to provide these types of everyday examples in their classes. Further, we have found that many secondary teachers do not have an informed idea of what engineering is all about, and there- fore, they can not easily advise their students to pursue an engineering career. To combat these twin problems, at Michigan Tech we have developed an innovative degree program--the Master of Science in Applied Science Education (MS-ASE). Through the coursework in this program, inservice teachers will be able to develop a clear understanding of the engineering profession and

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Oberto, L., & Sorby, S. (2002, June), Introducing Teachers To Engineering Practice Paper presented at 2002 Annual Conference, Montreal, Canada. 10.18260/1-2--10795

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