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Successfully Building Bridges Between Education And Engineering Programs At A 4 Year Comprehensive University

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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

Math and K-12-Freshman Transitions

Page Count


Page Numbers

10.1178.1 - 10.1178.14



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Paper Authors

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Philip Parker

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Jason Thrun

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

Successfully Building Bridges Between Education and Engineering Programs at a 4-year Comprehensive University

Jason Thrun and Philip Parker University of Wisconsin-Platteville


Six faculty members (three from engineering, one from mathematics, and two from education) teamed up to plan and implement an innovative project. During the fall semester of 2004, nine pre-service teachers in secondary- and middle-level mathematics education enrolled in an experimental section of GE 1030 – Introduction to Engineering Projects, an existing 1-credit hour class that is required for all engineering majors, and is typically taken in the freshman year.

The project designers’ decision to open an experimental section of GE 1030 to education majors was motivated by the idea that an experimental section of GE 1030 could benefit future teachers of mathematics and science and could also benefit the field of engineering. Specifically, participating in an introductory engineering course could provide the pre-service teachers with some resources to create lesson materials that could enhance their future teaching (by their ability to develop mathematical ideas via engineering). Additionally, these education majors could gain valuable insights into the field of engineering that could help them inform their future students on the excitement of the field of engineering.

This paper provides details on the experimental section of GE 1030 and identifies the primary goals of the project. This paper also discusses the formative assessment process and preliminary results. In particular, the authors present some major findings in terms of the comparison between the student populations, the benefit of the course for the pre-service teachers, and insights for future projects.

This work is being funded by the National Science Foundation’s Bridging Engineering Education (BEE) program.


Faculty members from the Engineering Department, School of Education, and Mathematics Department at the University of Wisconsin-Platteville teamed up to design and implement a multidisciplinary project. A fundamental component of the project was to design an experimental section of GE 1030 – Introduction to Engineering Projects that would be taken by both engineering and education majors. This highlights one of the most innovative aspects of the project: using an existing course (rather than creating an entirely new course) will make eventual implementation much easier. Pre-service teachers enrolled in the experimental section also were required to attend bi-weekly seminars, as will be explained in more detail in subsequent sections of this paper.

Proceedings of the 2005 American Society for Engineering Education Annual Conference & Exposition Copyright , American Society for Engineering Education

Parker, P., & Thrun, J. (2005, June), Successfully Building Bridges Between Education And Engineering Programs At A 4 Year Comprehensive University Paper presented at 2005 Annual Conference, Portland, Oregon. 10.18260/1-2--14441

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