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Service Learning Engineering Design Activities At Western Michigan University To Support K 12 Stem Education

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2005 Annual Conference


Portland, Oregon

Publication Date

June 12, 2005

Start Date

June 12, 2005

End Date

June 15, 2005



Conference Session

K-12 Poster Session

Page Count


Page Numbers

10.1106.1 - 10.1106.7



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Paper Authors

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Betsy Aller

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Edmund Tsang

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Andrew Kline

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

Service-Learning Engineering Design Activities at Western Michigan University to Support K-12 STEM Education

Andrew Kline, Edmund Tsang, and Betsy M. Aller

Department of Paper Engineering, Chemical Engineering, and Imaging / Associate Dean for Undergraduate Education and Assessment / Department of Industrial and Manufacturing Engineering, College of Engineering and Applied Sciences, Western Michigan University, Kalamazoo, MI 49006.


The Engineering Design Center for Service-Learning (EDCSL) is a joint effort of the College of Engineering and Applied Sciences (CEAS) and the College of Education (COE) at Western Michigan University (WMU). The mission of the EDCSL is to provide instructional devices and equipment, experiments, and training for use in K-12 classrooms to enhance Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) education. Engineering and education students, university faculty, and practicing K-12 teachers work together to design, build, analyze, and test age-appropriate classroom materials, develop and refine training for practicing and pre- service teachers, and provide opportunities for engineering and education students to see the impact of their work in the larger community beyond the campus boundaries.

This paper describes the ongoing EDCSL activities related to several of the student-engineered projects from CEAS senior capstone design courses and a freshman introductory engineering course. These include projects for a classroom playhouse; an apparatus illustrating Archimedes principle; an apparatus to teach and experiment on electromagnetism, which has been through several developmental iterations in the engineering design process involving students from CEAS, COE, and K-12 teacher customers; and an interactive wind tunnel. Materials developed during a joint workshop for practicing and pre-service K-12 teachers are discussed, where the participants worked with university faculty to develop their own STEM-related curriculum modules for classroom usage. Efforts continue to build and enhance a service-learning consortium with academic units within WMU, other educational institutions, and community groups, including a project with Goodwill Industries to design a shipping container that meets its operational and user requirements, and a project to deliver after-school enrichment activities based on engineering and technology for middle-school students.


Western Michigan University (WMU) received project awards in July 2003 from the National Science Foundation and in October 2003 from Learn and Serve America to establish an Engineering Design Center for Service-Learning (EDCSL) as a joint effort between faculty members from the College of Engineering and Applied Sciences (CEAS) and the College of Education (COE). The activities of the EDCSL have focused on four main areas: (1) developing

“Proceedings of the 2005 American Society for Engineering Education Annual Conference & Exposition Copyright © 2005, American Society for Engineering Education”

Aller, B., & Tsang, E., & Kline, A. (2005, June), Service Learning Engineering Design Activities At Western Michigan University To Support K 12 Stem Education Paper presented at 2005 Annual Conference, Portland, Oregon. 10.18260/1-2--14647

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