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Preparing Teachers and University Students to Translate Engineering Research to K-8 Students in an After-School Program

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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

K-12 Teacher Pre-Service and Undergraduate Instructor Training

Tagged Division

K-12 & Pre-College Engineering

Page Count


Page Numbers

24.1002.1 - 24.1002.17



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Paper Authors


Howard L. Greene The Ohio State University

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Howard L. Greene directs K-12 Education Outreach for the College of Engineering at The Ohio State University. Prior to his present position at Ohio State, Dr. Greene worked for 12 years in medical device development at Battelle in Columbus, Ohio. Prior to Battelle, Dr. Greene was a professor of Electronics Engineering Technology at DeVry University in Columbus. Dr. Greene received the Ph.D. and M.S. degrees from The Ohio State University in Biomedical Engineering and Electrical Engineering, respectively.

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Xi Zhan Department of Educational Studies, The Ohio State University

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Xi Zhan is a doctoral student of Educational Administration at The Ohio State University. She holds an M. A. in Educational Administration from The Ohio State University, U. S. A. and a B. A. in Teaching Chinese as a Second Language from Southwest University, China. She has experience in teaching Chinese language in a vocational school in Thailand and teaching children who have intellectual disability and challenging behavior in China and U.S.A. She also assisted with an instructional design of multimedia case studies on technology integration for teachers and school leaders during her master’s study. Her research interests include technology in regional educational innovations and school leadership in the context of globalization.

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Anika Anthony The Ohio State University

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Anika Anthony is an assistant professor of Educational Administration at The Ohio State University. Her research focuses on innovation in education, technology leadership, and the systemic nature of school organizations. Her experiences include designing and evaluating online learning environments, studying technology integration in mathematics and science classrooms, and supporting educational leaders in their efforts to implement technology for system-wide improvements. Anthony holds a MA and PhD in Learning Technologies and a BSE in Industrial and Operations Engineering.

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Paul E. Post The Ohio State University

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Ph.D. in Industrial Technology, Purdue University
M.S. in Industrial Education, Purdue University
B.S. in Industrial Arts Education, Pennsylvania State University

OSU faculty member since 1984
Currently in the STEM education program

2013 International Technology and Engineering Educators Association Conference Co-Chair

A Past-President of the Ohio Technology and Engineering Educators Association

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Andrew James Parkhurst Ohio state university

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Preparing Teachers and University Students to Translate Engineering Research to K12 Students in an Afterschool Program (research to practice)Providing K12 students early exposure to engineering education is an effective way to increasetheir interest to pursue STEM-related careers. Two common exposure strategies include project-based learning and informal learning environments. Although partnerships between universities,engineers, and teachers help provide students with engaging and relevant learning experiences,they may present challenges. Partnerships that emphasize engineers working directly withstudents may be limited if engineers, who possess technical and engineering practice knowledge,lack pedagogical skills. However, teachers who have pedagogical knowledge often lack practicalengineering experience to help students learn the real-world significance of projects.A university-school partnership is described that has been designed and implemented as part ofan outreach collaboration between the Colleges of Engineering and Education at a large publicuniversity. The program aims to advance the broader impacts of federally funded engineeringresearch while increasing urban middle school students’ interest in engineering and preparingpracticing teachers and engineering students to introduce middle school students to theengineering design process.Undergraduate engineering students are mentored by research faculty in paid summerinternships, using broader impacts grant funds. In autumn, these students are joined bypracticing teachers enrolled in the College of Education in a course that teaches them how totranslate the engineering research experience into a series of age-appropriate mini-designchallenges that are team-delivered in an afterschool program at an urban middle school. Thesechallenges focus on the Design Solutions and Improving Solutions aspects of the NGSS whileutilizing everyday materials to solve a research-inspired problem.The design and delivery of the university course aligns with best practices in teacher professionallearning, providing multiple opportunities for dialogue, collaborative and iterative lesson design,practice, and feedback, all of which are likely to positively influence teachers’ and engineeringstudents’ efficacy.Researchers conducted a study to examine the following questions: Do teachers and universityengineering students learn from one another through collaboration? What, if anything, doteachers learn from engineering students about the engineering design process? What, ifanything, do engineering students learn from teachers about middle school students, lessonplanning, and pedagogy? The study employed a mixed-methods approach. Data were collectedusing interviews, observations, and a self-efficacy survey. The survey was appropriated to focuson teachers’ and engineering students’ efficacy to interest middle school students in engineering.Methods of analysis included discourse analysis, comparative analysis, and t-tests.Results reveal that the university course increased teachers’ and engineering students’ efficacy tointerest middle school students’ in engineering. Through working with engineering students,teachers reported learning more about how to offer middle school students richer examples ofengineering problems that link larger societal concerns, engineering research, and hands-ondesign challenges. As a result of interactions with experienced teachers, engineering studentsreported learning how to more clearly communicate the engineering design process andimplement targeted strategies for connecting with middle school students. Engineering studentsparticularly valued co-teaching and receiving feedback from teachers during debriefing sessions.

Greene, H. L., & Zhan, X., & Anthony, A., & Post, P. E., & Parkhurst, A. J. (2014, June), Preparing Teachers and University Students to Translate Engineering Research to K-8 Students in an After-School Program Paper presented at 2014 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, Indianapolis, Indiana. 10.18260/1-2--22935

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