June 26, 2011
June 26, 2011
June 29, 2011
K-12 & Pre-College Engineering
22.1019.1 - 22.1019.15
Living in a Material World: Material Science Engineering Professional Development for K-12 EducatorsMaterial science has become an fundamental part of our technological developments and societystructures. For example, a cellular phone is composed of a polymer case, liquid crystal displays,LEDs, silicon chips, Ni-Cd batteries, resistors, capacitors, speakers, microphones all of whichhave required advances in material science to be compacted into a phone which is typicallysmaller than a deck of cards. Like many technological developments, cellular phones havebecome a ubiquitous part of society, and yet most people know little about the material scienceassociated with the devised. The probable conditions of constrained knowledge of the materialscience was the motivation for developing and offering a 20 hour four-day course called “Livingin a Material World.” The course was offered as part of a larger K-12 teacher professionaldevelopment project and was a component of a summer institute.The summer institute was a residential professional development program for k-12 educatorswhich included 20 hour content strands, and 12 hours of plenary sessions, planning, andcollaborative sharing. The focus of the institute was on enhancing teacher content knowledge inSTEM, their capacity for teaching using inquiry, their comfort and positive attitudes towardteaching STEM, their knowledge of how people learn, and strategies for integrating STEMthroughout the curriculum. “Living in a Material World” was one of the fifteen content strandsoffered at the institute.The 230 summer institute participants were pre/post tested on their comfort with STEM, theirperceptions of STEM education, their pedagogical discontentment, their implementations ofinquiry, their attitudes toward student learning of STEM, and their content knowledge associatedwith their specific content strand. The results from our research indicate a significant increase incontent knowledge (t = 11.36, p < .01) for the Materials World strand participant. Overall thesummer institute participants were found to have significant increases in their comfort levels forteaching STEM (t = 10.94, p < .01), in inquiry implementation (t = 5.72, p < .01) and attitudetoward teaching STEM (t = 6.27, p < .01) and significant decrease in pedagogical discontentment(t = -6.26, p < .01).In addition to the summer institute the participating teachers were provided with a kit of about$300 worth of materials and equipment to use to implement the content they learned in theirclassrooms. As part of this professional development project the participants were required todesign and implement 5 lesson plans with their students this fall and report on the results. Theplans for the use of the materials kits and the results will be presented in the full paper.
Nadelson, L. S., & Moll, A. J., & Seifert, A. L. (2011, June), Living in a Materials World: Materials Science Engineering Professional Development for K-12 Educators Paper presented at 2011 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, Vancouver, BC. https://peer.asee.org/18288
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