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Modularizing Emerging Technology Education: Two Case Studies

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2013 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition


Atlanta, Georgia

Publication Date

June 23, 2013

Start Date

June 23, 2013

End Date

June 26, 2013



Conference Session

Curriculum Development and Multidisciplinary Instruction

Tagged Division

Multidisciplinary Engineering

Page Count


Page Numbers

23.913.1 - 23.913.12



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Paper Authors


Deborah Newberry Dakota County Technical College

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Deb Newberry is the director of the Nanoscience Technology program at Dakota County Technical College in Rosemount, MN where she created 8 college level nano specific courses and the 2 year, AAS degree Nanoscience Technologist program. Deb also is the Director/Principle Investigator of Nano-Link, a regional center for nanotechnology education which spans 5 states in the upper Midwest and is funded by the National Science Foundation.

Deb has a master’s degree in nuclear physics with minors in chemical and mechanical engineering. She spent over 15 years as a researcher studying radiation effects on satellite systems. She developed methodologies for analysis and testing of radiation on satellite systems and has been involved with over 14 satellites currently on orbit. In 1991, she began work in the field of nanotechnology investigating the effect of radiation on composite materials using nanoparticles.

After 23 years of experience as a researcher and executive in the corporate world, she became a nanotechnology consultant and celebrated writer, coauthoring, The Next Big Thing is Really Small, a bestselling book on nanotechnology and is also the author of several chapters in nanotechnology and educational books. Deb has spoken to multiple organizations, including the U.S. Senate, IEEE, ASME, BIO, ATMAE, NCPN and others. A member of the editorial board of the Journal of Nano Education, she has published a number of articles in business magazines and professional journals.

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Marilyn Barger P.E. National Science Foundation ATE Centers

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Dr. Marilyn Barger is the Principal Investigator and Executive Director of FLATE, the Florida Regional Center of Advanced Technological Education, funded by the National Science Foundation and housed at Hillsborough Community College in Tampa, Florida since 2004. FLATE serves the state of Florida as its region and is involved in outreach and recruitment of students into technical career pathway; has produced award winning curriculum design and reform for secondary and post-secondary Career and Technical Education programs; and provides a variety of professional development for STEM and technical educators focused on advanced technologies. She earned a B.A. in Chemistry at Agnes Scott College and both a B.S. in Engineering Science and a Ph.D. in Civil Engineering (Environmental) from the University of South Florida, where her research focused on membrane separation science and technologies for water purification. She has over 20 years of experience in developing curricula for engineering and engineering technology for elementary, middle, high school, and post secondary institutions, including colleges of engineering. Dr. Barger serves on several national panels and advisory boards for technical programs, curriculum and workforce initiatives, including the National Association of Manufacturers Educators‘Council. She is a Fellow of the American Society of Engineering Education, a member of Tau Beta Pi and Epsilon Pi Tau honor societies. She is a charter member of both the National Academy and the University of South Florida‘s Academy of Inventors. Dr. Barger holds a licensed patent and is a licensed Professional Engineer in Florida.

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Modularizing Emerging Technology Education: Two Case StudiesThe rapid change in technology poses a challenge to the public, industry, educators and students.Integration of new science and engineering disciplines and concepts is especially challenging foreducators – where many programs are already saturated with required courses. Formulation andcreation of emerging concept content such as that associated with photonics, nanotechnology andbiotechnology, in a modularized format is successfully enabling the integration of new contentinto existing curricula. The modular approach and content used is based on surveys of over 300high school and college science educators. Starting with pilot programs in 2010 a modularapproach has been successfully used to introduce concepts of nanotechnology and leanmanufacturing into multiple educational venues reaching over 4000 students.This paper will discuss the process and historical foundation used to develop and disseminatetopical modularized educational content. Results of surveys which were used to define specificrequired module content such as hands-on student activities will be discussed. Best practices andlessons learned in areas of educator workshops (training educators), module creation and vetting,dissemination and module use will be covered. For example, a combination of on-line contentprior to hands-on workshops proved to be a successful professional development approach forthe educators. There were some surprising results with regard to what content educators requirein a module and what is deemed unnecessary. In particular, it was found that educators often donot require detailed class presentation material but do desire thorough, level appropriatebackground information on the subject. As various modules were used in classroom settings,additional information was obtained regarding strategies for module content, presentation,execution and assessment. Impact on student understanding of the concepts has recently been thefocus area for assessment and the results of work in 2012 will be presented.

Newberry, D., & Barger, M. (2013, June), Modularizing Emerging Technology Education: Two Case Studies Paper presented at 2013 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, Atlanta, Georgia. 10.18260/1-2--22298

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