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Precollege Outreach Within The Freedm Systems Center

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2010 Annual Conference & Exposition


Louisville, Kentucky

Publication Date

June 20, 2010

Start Date

June 20, 2010

End Date

June 23, 2010



Conference Session

Mentoring & Outreach for Girls & Minorities

Tagged Division

K-12 & Pre-College Engineering

Page Count


Page Numbers

15.969.1 - 15.969.11

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Paper Authors


Keith Holbert Arizona State University

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Keith Holbert is presently an Associate Professor in the School of Electrical, Computer and Energy Engineering of Arizona State University. He earned his Ph.D. in nuclear engineering from University of Tennessee in 1989. His research expertise is in the area of instrumentation and system diagnostics. Dr. Holbert is a registered professional engineer. He has published more than 90 journal and conference papers.

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Lisa Grable North Carolina State University

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Lisa Leonor Grable is the Pre-college Outreach Coordinator, NSF FREEDM Systems Center, The Science House, NC State University and Adjunct Professor, Department of Curriculum and Instruction. Lisa's extension and research projects have included work with public schools in the areas of instructional technology and science, including numerous in-service workshops for teachers.

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Patricia Dixon Florida State University

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Dr. Dixon is Director of the Center for Integrating Research and Learning at the National High Magnetic Field Laboratory, conducting educational programs for students, teachers, and the general public. She has administered REU and RET programs since 1999, participates in a national RET Network, and has published and presented research on RET programs. Dr. Dixon is currently directing a study to track REU students 1999-2009, as well as a study on same-sex camps effects on course choice in high school and college. Dr. Dixon is also an adjunct instructor at Flagler College, developing their Science Methods for Elementary Teachers syllabus and teaching the course since 2001. In addition to overseeing all educational programs K-20 at the Magnet Lab, Dr. Dixon is actively engaged in educational research on the effects of programs from national laboratories on students and teachers.

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Sharon Schulze North Carolina State University

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Dr. Sharon K. Schulze is the Director of The Science House and an Associate Faculty member of the Physics Department. She manages the day-to-day operations, works with various grant-funded projects, and actively pursues collaborations and partnerships to improve K-12 STEM education in North Carolina and across the country. Dr. Schulze has high school classroom experience in physics and mathematics.

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NOTE: The first page of text has been automatically extracted and included below in lieu of an abstract

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

Precollege Program

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.

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