Salt Lake City, Utah
June 23, 2018
June 23, 2018
July 27, 2018
Pre-College Engineering Education
The description of a well-rounded science K-12 student can be summed up by a list of skills necessary for the receiving, processing and sharing of information: scientific communication skills, critical thinking skills, and the ability to work in collaborative groups. In classroom Project Based Learning (PBL) experiences provide students with an opportunity to cultivate and grow these skills, while learning scientific content. In order for students to take part in a successful PBL experience, K-12 teacher must be trained in effective PBL practices.
The NanoEnvironmental Engineering for Teachers (NEET) program fulfills this role by providing K-12 teaches with a unique PBL experience over the course of a semester. Twentyfive K-12 teachers are selected to participate in the course giving preference to those who teach AP Environmental Science in high-needs school district. NEET participants are grouped by their interest in current events related to water scarcity, treatment, and sustainability. Teachers gain valuable engineering design experience and deepen their content knowledge while simultaneously forming connections between research, design practices, and their classrooms. NEET participants are guided in these connections via guest lecture by faculty and graduate students from the National Science Foundation’s Engineering Research Center on Nanotechnology-Enabled Water Treatment (NEWT). The course meets weekly to provide model inquiry based lessons, which focus on incorporating nanoscience and engineering. Moreover, teachers use the class time to discuss their project ideas, share their classroom experiences, design prototypes around case studies, and learn current approaches to water sustainability. Over the semester, teachers and university faculty and staff form a collaborative, supportive community. NEET culminates with an engineering design showcase which provided teachers with a unique opportunity to present their semester engineering projects to their peers, school administrators and NEWT members. The showcase also served a dual role of developing the teacher’s scientific communication skills. This paper details the NEET objectives, program design, as well as lessons learned.
Nichol, C. A., & Crawford, C. A., & Loyo-Rosales, J., & Chow, A., & Obenland, C. (2018, June), Nano-environmental Engineering for Teachers (Work in Progress) Paper presented at 2018 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition , Salt Lake City, Utah. https://peer.asee.org/29642
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