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Professional Development For Science, Technology, And Mathematics Teachers

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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

Enhancing K-12 STEM Education with Engineering

Tagged Division

K-12 & Pre-College Engineering

Page Count


Page Numbers

15.988.1 - 15.988.14



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Paper Authors


Kenneth Hunter Tennessee Technological University

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Kenneth Hunter is an Associate Professor in the Basic Engineering Program at Tennessee Technological University, where he received his BSME and MSME. He is active in engineering education outreach and has over thirty-five years of engineering experience, including positions in academia, industry, the United States Army, and his own consulting business. He is a registered engineer in Tennessee.

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Jessica Matson Tennessee Technological University

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Jessica Matson is a Professor of Industrial and Systems Engineering at Tennessee Technological University. She received her BSIE from Mississippi State University and MSIE and PhD from Georgia Tech. She has been active in engineering education outreach at Tennessee Tech, as well as in prior service on the faculty of Mississippi State and the University of Alabama. She is a registered PE, a member of the EAC of ABET, and 2008-10 ASEE PIC 1 Chair.

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Margaret Phelps Tennessee Technological University

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Margaret Phelps is Assistant Director of the Millard Oakley STEM Center and Professor Emeritus in the College of Education at Tennessee Technological University. She has eight years of experience as a high school math and science teacher and thirty-four years of experience as a faculty member in instructional leadership, science education, and rural education.

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Roy Loutzenheiser Tennessee Technological University

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Roy Loutzenheiser is a Professor of Civil Engineering and Associate Dean in the College of Engineering at Tennessee Technological University. He received his BSCE from Ohio State University, MSCE from Georgia Tech and PhD from Texas A&M University. He has been in engineering education at Tennessee Tech since 1989, and was formally associated with Purdue University and the University of Maryland. He is a registered engineer in Tennessee.

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


During the past six years, the Colleges of Engineering and Education at Tennessee Technological University have worked together in two Math-Science Partnership (MSP) grant programs focused on providing engineering professional development content and resources to middle and high school teachers. The first MSP program (EMSP1) was conducted from 2004 to 2007 for approximately fifty math and science teachers from more than a dozen rural school districts in the Upper Cumberland region of Tennessee. Entering its final year, the second program (EMSP2) includes science, math, and technology teachers, with sixty intervention and sixty control teachers from eighteen, primarily rural, school districts across the state of Tennessee. This paper first presents the professional development model that served as the basis for program design and then summarizes the objectives, structure, results, and lessons learned from the two MSP programs.

The Professional Development Model

Professional development experiences for both MSP programs were based on research on how students and their teachers learn about science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM). Some of the background information specific to engineering education was taken from research conducted by SEEK-16 (Strategies for Engineering Education K-16) participants developing a Pre-AP engineering program. Consideration was also given to research related to teaching and learning in rural and economically disadvantaged environments.

To provide equity of educational opportunity in rural schools serving economically disadvantaged students, one must move f 1 Challenging students with real-world problem-solving from the world of engineering addresses different learning styles and provides a context for the application of math and science theory that appeals to students of poverty.2

Teachers must be scientifically literate and have the necessary tools to engage their students in quests for understanding of engineering concepts.3,4,5 Teachers with more content knowledge are better questioners and discussion leaders and are able to identify conceptual patterns and apply those patterns in instruction.6,7 If teachers are going to incorporate inquiry and engineering- based content and activities in their teaching, they must themselves experience learning through inquiry, collaborate with other teachers, have access to and competence in using technology, and have experience with engineering.8,9

The interdisciplinary nature of engineering merges laboratory, field, and classroom inquiry with 10 historical and cultural perspectives and Effective classroom practices include conceptual understanding, thinking skills, inquiry, cooperative learning, graphic organizers, computer simulations, actual observation, clear objectives, and on- going feedback.11 Students develop deeper understanding when they generate and test hypotheses, compare and contrast, summarize, and apply prior knowledge.12

Operationally the professional development in both programs consisted of 60 hours of summer institute instruction by faculty in the College of Engineering and the College of Education and

Hunter, K., & Matson, J., & Phelps, M., & Loutzenheiser, R. (2010, June), Professional Development For Science, Technology, And Mathematics Teachers Paper presented at 2010 Annual Conference & Exposition, Louisville, Kentucky. 10.18260/1-2--16922

ASEE holds the copyright on this document. It may be read by the public free of charge. Authors may archive their work on personal websites or in institutional repositories with the following citation: © 2010 American Society for Engineering Education. Other scholars may excerpt or quote from these materials with the same citation. When excerpting or quoting from Conference Proceedings, authors should, in addition to noting the ASEE copyright, list all the original authors and their institutions and name the host city of the conference. - Last updated April 1, 2015