St. Louis, Missouri
June 18, 2000
June 18, 2000
June 21, 2000
5.557.1 - 5.557.5
Strengthening the Pipeline - A Workshop for Middle School Mathematics and Science Teachers
Lang Wah Lee, Tamer Ceylan University of Wisconsin-Platteville
It is a well-known fact that the majority of pre-college students have insufficient background in mathematics and science for attending engineering colleges. In the past two years, various measures have been developed to make the two subjects more appealing to secondary school students. However, to strengthen the pipeline between pre-college students and engineering schools, more attention should be focused on pre-secondary education because students’ attitude toward science and mathematics become fairly well established at the age of 10 to 14 (the middle school years).
Our survey on current status of middle school education reveals the following three problems: 1) many middle school teachers in mathematics and science are inadequately trained. 2) subject matters in these two areas are being taught with inadequate coverage on the application of basic theories. 3) while teachers prefer to use a learner active, hands-on form of education, their content background makes this very difficult. The combination of these three problems has an adverse impact on students’ interest in these two subjects.
One promising way to deal with these problems is to introduce engineering topics into the pre- secondary curricula. Through engineering topics, students can appreciate how mathematics and science principles are used to solve problems closely related to their life and daily experience. This approach not only would allow them to learn basic science and mathematics in an exciting way, but also would change their perception that these subjects are uninteresting and irrelevant. Moreover, exposing students to open-ended engineering problems also provides the best avenue to nurture students’ abilities in problem-solving, teamwork, and creativity.
Recognizing the significant role engineering can play in middle school education, we secured an Eisenhower Grant to develop a 1999 Summer Workshop "Adventure into the Mechanical World" at the University of Wisconsin-Platteville for middle school teachers.
Lee, L. W., & Ceylan, T. (2000, June), Strenghtening The Pipeline A Workshop For Middle School Mathematics And Science Teachers Paper presented at 2000 Annual Conference, St. Louis, Missouri. https://peer.asee.org/8712
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