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Ms. Hines and the Sick 5th Graders -– Making Hands-on Outreach and Learning about the Environment Engaging Through the Use of Case Stories!

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2014 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition


Indianapolis, Indiana

Publication Date

June 15, 2014

Start Date

June 15, 2014

End Date

June 18, 2014



Conference Session

Problem- Project- and Case-Based Learning in Environmental Engineering

Tagged Division

Environmental Engineering

Page Count


Page Numbers

24.919.1 - 24.919.13



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Paper Authors


Janie Gina Locklear NC A&T

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I am a senior civil engineering major with five years of experience teaching elementary science. I returned to school to obtain a second degree in engineering after learning that I have a stronger passion for design and problem solving. As a teacher, I emphasized to my students daily the importance of science and engineering, and promoted love and passion for the related work by using hands-on experience with EVERY lesson taught. My philosophy was and always will be learning occurs best through experience!

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*This is a student paper* Ms. Hines and the Sick 5th Graders -– Making hands-on outreach and learning about the Environment engaging through the use of Case Stories! Inclusion of minority and low income students in STEM (Science, Technology,Engineering, & Math) early in their educational careers is vital to help guide them on the trackfor higher education. Both peer and societal pressures that tell girls they should shy away fromSTEM are especially prevalent in the middle school grades for female students. Therefore,before peer pressure and popular culture lures them away from self-efficacy in math and science,outreach to females outside of the traditional classroom is crucial. For this research project,thirteen middle school students were invited to attend a summer camp hosted in theenvironmental engineering laboratory at ________________ State University. Threeenvironmental and public health “cases” or stories were developed to increase the studentinterest in science and environmental engineering. The girls were grouped into teams and eachgroup was assigned one of the three cases in which a community member or pet became sick dueto an unknown microbial hazard in water. They were asked to become scientists to solve thecases. The hands on experience included collecting environmental water samples from a localpark and teaching the girls how to use environmental equipment to test for bacteria levels in thewater to learn about a real-world environmental problem – water quality and water impairment.The use of the “case” to teach environmental and public health showed increases in the student’sinterests in the sciences and engineering. The participants were given short pre- and post-surveysto assess the experience by collecting qualitative and quantitative data. This paper will discussthe cases used for the camp using the “cases in the sciences” method used during the camp andthe impact hands-on experiences had on increasing student interest. 

Locklear, J. G. (2014, June), Ms. Hines and the Sick 5th Graders -– Making Hands-on Outreach and Learning about the Environment Engaging Through the Use of Case Stories! Paper presented at 2014 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, Indianapolis, Indiana. 10.18260/1-2--22852

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