June 20, 2010
June 20, 2010
June 23, 2010
K-12 & Pre-College Engineering
15.969.1 - 15.969.11
Precollege Outreach within the FREEDM Systems Center
The precollege program in the FREEDM research center has completed its first year with 31 participants. The precollege outreach effort at the three ERC university partners is targeted at middle and high school teachers and students. The program consist of three major thrusts: (1) a research experience for teachers, (2) a Young Scholars program for high school students, and (3) summer camps for middle school girls and minorities. Along with faculty, graduate and undergraduate students act as mentors to both the teachers and precollege students. Assessment data are being collected to gauge the efficacy of the precollege program.
The Future Renewable Electrical Energy Delivery and Management (FREEDM) Systems Center is an NSF-supported engineering research center (ERC). The vision of FREEDM is an efficient power grid integrating highly distributed and scalable alternative generating sources and storage with existing power systems to facilitate a green energy based society, mitigate the growing energy crisis, and reduce the impact of carbon emissions on the environment. An important component of this ERC is the precollege outreach activities at three university campuses in the southeast and southwest. The lead university is North Carolina State University (NCSU) and the two partner institutions are Arizona State University (ASU) and Florida State University (FSU).
The importance of enhancing science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) education in middle and high schools continues to be noted. Key issues guiding the programming for the FREEDM Systems Center include:
≠ the aging of the power industry workforce (we need students to consider power engineering as a career since the need is increasing).1 ≠ Our society is increasingly technological and a STEM-literate population is critical to handling the problems that we will be facing in the coming years. 2 ≠ Students make decisions about STEM courses in middle school that have lifelong ramifications – not taking algebra means that a huge number of career choices become out of reach; selecting a path in which students do not take enough math and/or science in high school leads to problems in college where students lack the background to enroll in courses required for various fields of study.3 ≠ Students, especially students from underrepresented groups, are often unaware of STEM- related careers that are available to them; programs like this show students possibilities that they might not have known exist otherwise.3
The goal of the precollege program is to develop and assess long-term partnerships with middle and high schools, teachers, and students to enhance teachers’ engineering content knowledge and pedagogical methods, bring engineering concepts into the classroom, involve precollege students
Holbert, K., & Grable, L., & Dixon, P., & Schulze, S. (2010, June), Precollege Outreach Within The Freedm Systems Center Paper presented at 2010 Annual Conference & Exposition, Louisville, Kentucky. https://peer.asee.org/15821
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