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Recommendations For Establishing Small Scale K,1 Outreach

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2000 Annual Conference


St. Louis, Missouri

Publication Date

June 18, 2000

Start Date

June 18, 2000

End Date

June 21, 2000



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Page Numbers

5.521.1 - 5.521.5

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Angie Hill Price

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

Session 1648

Recommendations for Establishing Small Scale K, 1 Outreach

Angie Hill Price Texas A&M University


The need for general K-12 outreach has been the focus of many organizations on a broad scale approach. While that is certainly admirable and desirable, it is possible to initiate programs on a very small scale. Outreach is a viable plank in the platform for tenure as a service component. New and established faculty would profit from the opportunity to hone and refine teaching skills and submit their own conceptual understandings to the scrutiny of the very young. Particularly gratifying and beneficial is outreach aimed at kindergarten and first grade ages. These students are eagerly receptive to exposure to basic concepts in science and engineering technologies.

In this paper, some recommendations are discussed for establishing connections with local school districts on a small scale basis, specifically concentrating on the kindergarten and first grade levels. Examples are shared from the author’s own experience in introducing materials science and engineering technologies and several science experiments, as well as participation in the development of a teacher training program. Engineering technology as a whole derives much benefit from this introduction to the students at an early age, so that the degree becomes a part of their concept of career goals.


It is recognized that the public has a great interest in science and a growing level of understanding in the subject.1 There are a number of large scale technical outreach programs that successfully address this desire to learn in areas across the U.S.2,3,4,5,6 Why should anything else be done? Because there is still a problem – not everyone is benefiting from these as yet, and as the saying goes, every little bit helps. Small scale programs can be very rewarding to the students and to the faculty member. Service is one of the components of a successful tenure package, though a small one, and K, 1 outreach certainly qualifies as a necessary service.7 It should not be about tenure, however, but about need. Most schools still need help, particularly at the lower levels. Everyone certainly can and should participate. If tenure has already been obtained or is not an issue, outreach can still be useful for promotion as well as for research; some research funding opportunities list outreach as a required component of a successful proposal. Some engineering technology programs are increasing participation in funded research; this type of experience can improve competitiveness for some programs. Engineering technology can benefit from small-scale programs, providing early exposure to K, 1 students to the field. When the decision comes whether or not to attend college and if so, what the major should be, wouldn’t it be ideal if engineering technology was a first choice?

Price, A. H. (2000, June), Recommendations For Establishing Small Scale K,1 Outreach Paper presented at 2000 Annual Conference, St. Louis, Missouri.

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