Asee peer logo

STEM Outreach: Capitalizing on Dissemination (Work in Progress)

Download Paper |


2016 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition


New Orleans, Louisiana

Publication Date

June 26, 2016

Start Date

June 26, 2016

End Date

August 28, 2016





Conference Session

K-12 & Pre-College Engineering Division Poster Session: Works in Progress

Tagged Division

Pre-College Engineering Education Division

Page Count




Permanent URL

Download Count


Request a correction

Paper Authors


Nicholas Robert Stambach Colorado School of Mines

visit author page

Nicholas Stambach is currently a Ph.D graduate student in the Chemistry Department at the Colorado School at Mines. Nicholas is the graduate student manager of the Trefny Institute for Educational Innovation at Mines. As part of the Trefny Institute, Nicholas has worked with elementary and middle school teachers in teaching science and engineering lessons. Prior to attending graduate school, Nicholas taught high school chemistry for 4 years. Nicholas has a BA in chemistry (2007) and an MA in education (2008) from Virginia Tech.

visit author page


Barbara M. Moskal Colorado School of Mines

visit author page

Barbara Moskal is a professor of Applied Mathematics and Statistics and the Director of the Trefny Institute for Educational Innovation at the Colorado School of Mines. She is also a Senior Associate Editor for the Journal of Engineering Education.

visit author page

Download Paper |


STEM Outreach: Capitalizing on Dissemination (Work in Progress)

The proposed paper discusses two engineering lessons utilized in a Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) outreach program and how they have been adapted and applied to multiple venues and grade levels. This program consists of university graduate students who are drawn from diverse fields of STEM and K-12 teachers who are drawn from a largely minority and economically disadvantaged school district and their students. Prior to the academic year, teachers and graduate students attend a joint two-week summer workshop and complete collaborative activities. Graduate students are placed with either elementary or secondary trained teachers for each academic year. Participating teachers are the classroom pedagogical experts while the graduate students are STEM content experts. Additionally, graduate students participate in a variety of non-classroom outreach events. The first lesson uses cookie mining to introduce concepts of environmental and mining engineering to students and discuss coal and land reclamation. The second lesson involves civil engineering where students build and test a bridge made of toothpicks and gumdrops. Both of these lessons involve a math component that can be adjusted to fit a targeted grade level. This allows the lessons to cover a wide range of grade levels, while keeping the content and activity constant. Further details of each lesson and how adaptations were made will be provided in the paper. These lessons serve as models for lessons develop in the program with the idea of being able to apply designed lessons to multiple venues and reach a wide range of grade levels. The lessons discussed in this paper have been utilized by graduate fellows in a wide range of venues; from classroom, to the program’s summer workshop, to summer camps, and activities in science nights. The classroom setting described here are K-8 classrooms having a graduate fellow assisting in STEM instruction. University faculty are the primary instructors for the summer workshop, offering content expertise and provide hands on activities that can be used in a K-12 classroom. In addition to faculty presentations, teachers and graduate fellows work together during the workshop to design and present a lesson that could be used in a classroom. The program is involved with two summer camps, in which graduate fellows lead instruction in STEM lessons. Science nights are events put on by schools in which students and parents are invited to come and participate in a variety of activities. Graduate students attend these events, bringing hands-on STEM related activities. The aim of this paper is to evaluate which venues these lessons were applied and what adjustments have been made to make them effective across all grade levels. This paper illustrates how a faculty member can create outreach activities that have a very broad impact, throughout the K-12 grade levels and community, maximizing use and dissemination.

Stambach, N. R., & Moskal, B. M. (2016, June), STEM Outreach: Capitalizing on Dissemination (Work in Progress) Paper presented at 2016 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, New Orleans, Louisiana. 10.18260/p.27345

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: © 2016 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