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STEM in a Shoebox

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Conference

2017 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition

Location

Columbus, Ohio

Publication Date

June 24, 2017

Start Date

June 24, 2017

End Date

June 28, 2017

Conference Session

Pre-College: Evaluation

Tagged Division

Pre-College Engineering Education Division

Page Count

31

Permanent URL

https://peer.asee.org/28844

Download Count

118

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Paper Authors

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Deborah A. Lange Carnegie Mellon University

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Dr. Lange is a civil and environmental engineer, having obtained her BS from Penn State (1979) and both her MS (1982) and PhD (2001) from Carnegie Mellon University. At Carnegie Mellon, she has been the Executive Director of both the Western Pennsylvania Brownfields Center (1996) and Steinbrenner Institute for Environmental Education and Research (2004.) Prior to joining the University, she was a consulting engineer responsible for the management of projects across the US as well as in South America, Europe and the Middle East. Currently, she has an additional assignment in alumni relations and is helping the College of Engineering to coordinate and expand their K-12 STEM outreach initiatives. Outside of the University, she is a Director for the Allegheny County Conservation District and coordinates the Design Factory after-school program at the Sarah Heinz House Boys and Girls Club.

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Donna M, Beck Carnegie Mellon University

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Donna Beck is Senior Librarian at Carnegie Mellon University, serving as Engineering Librarian since 2004. Since 2007, she has participated as an instructor for the research component of the annual Summer Engineering Experience for Girls, 2-week program. She received her Master of Library and Information Science (MLIS) from the University of Pittsburgh and the 2007 IEEE Continuing Education Stipend, administered by the Special Libraries Association (SLA) Engineering Division. The SLA Pittsburgh Chapter has honored her with the Publications, Catalyst, Innovations in Technology, and Leadership awards. Her interests include supporting research synthesis methods across disciplines via reviews of the literature.

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Judith R. Hallinen Carnegie Mellon University

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Judith Hallinen is Assistant Vice Provost for Educational Outreach at Carnegie Mellon University and directs the Leonard Gelfand Center for Service Learning & Outreach which supports the development, implementation and evaluation of activities that enable faculty and students to share expertise with members of the community. She assists faculty with Broader Impacts strategy development for proposals, advises students who are interested in K-12 careers, and is responsible for the processes that support CMU’s policy for the protection of children. Judith served as an Adjunct Instructor of science education at Chatham University, a consultant to Pittsburgh Public Schools, and a project coordinator for science programs developed by the University of Hawaii CRDG. She has taught learners from age 3 to 93. She earned a BS in Psychology at Carnegie Mellon, an MAT from the University of Pittsburgh, and an EdD from the University of Pennsylvania.

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Susan Finger Carnegie Mellon University

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Susan Finger is a Professor of Civil and Environmental Engineering as well as the Associate Dean for IDeATe, the Integrative Design, Arts and Technology network at Carnegie Mellon University. Dr. Finger received her B.A. in Astronomy and M.A. in Operations Research from the University of Pennsylvania and her Ph.D. in Electric Power Systems through Civil Engineering from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. She was the first program director for Design Theory and Methodology at the National Science Foundation. She is a founder and Co-Editor-in-Chief of the journal Research in Engineering Design. Dr. Finger's research interests include collaborative learning in design, rapid prototyping, and integration of design and manufacturing concerns.

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Annette M. Jacobson Carnegie Mellon University

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Dr. Jacobson is a chemical engineer that received her BS and PhD degrees at Carnegie Mellon University in 1979 and 1988, respectively. She worked as a research engineer for PPG Industries. Currently, she is a Teaching Professor of Chemical Engineering at Carnegie Mellon specializing in the characterization of nanomaterials and polymers. Since 1988, she has directed the Colloids, Polymers and Surfaces Program and is presently Associate Dean of Undergraduates in the College of Engineering. For the past 25 years she has been active in K-12 outreach programs in western Pennsylvania and the tri-state area.

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Alicia Angemeer Carnegie Mellon University

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G. Lynn Berard Carnegie Mellon University Orcid 16x16 orcid.org/0000-0003-0990-6936

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Abstract

In the college of engineering, our faculty, staff and students are often asked to attend STEM events and or visit schools to share STEM content with K-12 math and science classes. Requests are sometimes well in advance of the delivery date but can also be received at the last minute, with little time for adequate preparation. We are exploring a solution to this challenge that will serve to increase the participation of our STEM outreach volunteers and provide the recipients with a more complete STEM experience. The proposed solution is the advance preparation of stand-alone kits, complete with a scalable lesson plan, that will fit in a container with the approximate size of a ‘shoebox’ and will be stored and catalogued in the engineering library.

We propose to use our maker-space equipment (laser and 3D printers) to fabricate kits that can be easily assembled on site for student exploration. The associated lesson plan is scalable both in terms of the target age group as well as the time available for the event. The Activity Overview is presented as a matrix where the target age groups are defined as Grades 4-6 (Aware), Grades 7-9 (Assess) and Grades 10-12 (Analyze) the activity time durations are estimated to be 10 minutes (Engage), 30 minutes (Explain) and 60 minutes (Evaluate.) The kit and lesson plan might be used by one of our employees or maybe borrowed by a K-12 teacher.

We have developed a Ramp Racer kit (fabricated from laser cut acrylic), where students can explore the concepts of gravity, speed, and momentum while beginning to understand the potential effects of variables such as mass, slope, and friction. Data collection and graphing are also elements of the exercise, especially in the ‘Evaluate’ phase of the optional levels of immersion in the topic matter. We have discussed this pilot in a focus session with some middle school teachers and have observed the teachers’ application of the kit in the classroom.

The original intent of the kit approach was to facilitate the college of engineering’s collective participation in outreach events. While this is still true, secondary benefits have been the inclusion of more stakeholders at the university (the library and maker space, for instance) and the teachers in the local school districts have had valuable input and looking forward to the collaborative creation of additional kits.

Participation in the ASEE P12 Resource/Curriculum Exchange workshop will allow us to share our experience as well as gain feedback from others searching for tools to make the STEM outreach experience more streamlined for the volunteers and more valuable to the participants.

Lange, D. A., & Beck, D. M., & Hallinen, J. R., & Finger, S., & Jacobson, A. M., & Angemeer, A., & Berard, G. L. (2017, June), STEM in a Shoebox Paper presented at 2017 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, Columbus, Ohio. https://peer.asee.org/28844

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