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Professional Development Institutes On Alternative Energy

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2008 Annual Conference & Exposition


Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

Publication Date

June 22, 2008

Start Date

June 22, 2008

End Date

June 25, 2008



Conference Session

Engineering Professional Development for K12 Teachers

Tagged Division

K-12 & Pre-College Engineering

Page Count


Page Numbers

13.1003.1 - 13.1003.26



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Paper Authors

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Michael Pelletier Northern Essex Community College

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Lori Heymans Northern Essex Community College

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Paul Chanley Northern Essex Community College

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

Professional Development Institutes on Alternative Energy Abstract

This paper describes three Professional Development Institutes for middle and high school teachers exploring the science, technology, engineering, and math behind the generation of electricity by wind, water, and solar power.

Each institute was organized and delivered as a Web-companion course. All lecture notes, assignments, and required readings were provided on-line and participants were able to submit assignments on-line. Three graduate credits from Endicott College were made available to participants in each institute. After the summer sessions of each institute, participants designed and field tested in their own classrooms a lesson on alternative energy. At the end of each institute, participants received kits of small electrical parts or SNAP circuits and digital multi-meters to use with their classes.

During the summer of 2006, a 45-hour Summer Content Institute entitled STEMS (Science, Technology and Engineering for Middle Schools) was held at Northern Essex Community College in Massachusetts. The STEMS Content Institute provided educators at the Grade 6-12 level with science and engineering/technology content and context. The content was aligned with the Massachusetts Curriculum Frameworks for Science and Technology/Engineering and with the Massachusetts Curriculum Frameworks for Mathematics and provided solid integration of key scientific and mathematical concepts with the engineering design process. In this institute, participants explored the generation of electricity by the alternative energy sources of wind, water, and solar. Participants engaged in lab activities, completed worksheets and visited a “Green Home” powered by a wind turbine and by both passive and active solar energy. During the fall of 2006, the participants met with the community college faculty to share their personally designed lessons and results.

During the summer of 2007 Northern Essex Community College hosted a similar 45- hour Professional Development Institute entitled Alternative Energy. In November of 2007, the participating teachers returned to the community college to meet with the faculty and share their personally designed lessons and the results.

Also during the summer of 2007, a 30-hour Professional Development Institute, entitled Alternative Energy for STEM Fellows, was held at the community college.

An outside evaluator used pre and post tests of participating teachers to evaluate the STEMS Content Institute of 2006. The Office of Institutional Research at Northern Essex Community College analyzed the pre and post tests completed by participants in Northern Essex Community College both Content Institutes held in 2007. The results of all three evaluations are included in this paper.

Pelletier, M., & Heymans, L., & Chanley, P. (2008, June), Professional Development Institutes On Alternative Energy Paper presented at 2008 Annual Conference & Exposition, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. 10.18260/1-2--3749

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