June 15, 2014
June 15, 2014
June 18, 2014
K-12 & Pre-College Engineering
24.983.1 - 24.983.21
Place Based STEM: Leveraging Local Resources to Engage K-12 Teachers in Teaching Integrated STEM and for Addressing the Local STEM PipelineBusiness, industry, parks, government infrastructure, and people, can be invaluable resources forconnecting STEM curriculum with authentic contexts, which results in conditions ideal forpromoting purposeful learning of authentic STEM content. Thus, community based STEMresources provide the ideal context for teaching STEM content. The benefit of focusing teacherattention on these contextual, content aligned resources is that they are in every communitymaking place based STEM education a possibility regardless of the location of STEM teachingand learning. Further, associating STEM teaching and learning with local resources addressesissue of workforce development and the STEM pipeline by exposing students to STEM careersand applications in their local communities.The desire to align STEM teaching and learning with local STEM related resources guided thedesign of our integrated STEM K-12 teacher professional development (PD) program. We havecompleted four years of our i-STEM PD program and have made place based STEM a majoremphasis of our curriculum. Our week-long i-STEM PD served over 500 educators last summer(2013) providing them with theme based integrated STEM short courses which were limited toan average of 15 participants and plenary sessions which were whole group. The PD wasdistributed in five Idaho community colleges and took place over two weeks.The short courses included topics on engineering for sustainability, using engineering to sparkinterest in STEM, municipal water systems, mining, and energy. Integral to these short courseswere field trips which were designed to connect the K-12 educators to the resources in their localcommunities that could be leveraged for teaching integrated STEM and provide a relevantcontext for teaching STEM content. Field trips were taken to manufacturing plants, waste watertreatment systems, mines, food processing plants, and research and development facilities.We researched the 500 participants’ conceptions of place based STEM prior to and after theirtaking part in these fieldtrips. Our preliminary findings reveal substantial increases in ourparticipants’ knowledge, interest, and plans to use place based resources for teaching integratedSTEM. Our full paper will detail the data analysis and provide a theoretical foundation andjustification for the importance of place based STEM to addressing the STEM pipeline.
Nadelson, L., & Seifert, A. L., & McKinney, M. (2014, June), Place-Based STEM: Leveraging Local Resources to Engage K-12 Teachers in Teaching Integrated STEM and for Addressing the Local STEM Pipeline Paper presented at 2014 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, Indianapolis, Indiana. 10.18260/1-2--22916
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