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Sustainability Issues Of K 12 Engineering Education

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2003 Annual Conference


Nashville, Tennessee

Publication Date

June 22, 2003

Start Date

June 22, 2003

End Date

June 25, 2003



Conference Session

K-12 Outreach Initiatives

Page Count


Page Numbers

8.1047.1 - 8.1047.9



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Paper Authors

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Ioannis Miaoulis

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Erik Rushton

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Brian Gravel

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

Session 2530

Strategies for Teacher Comfort Aimed at Sustainability

By: E. Rushton, B. Gravel, & I. Miaoulis Tufts University / Boston Museum of Science


Tufts University’s Center for Engineering Educational Outreach received a GK-12 grant from the National Science Foundation (NSF) in 1998 to place graduate engineering students and computer science students into local public school classrooms. Through this fellowship the graduate students were partnered with teachers with the purpose of introducing engineering in Massachusetts’ primary and secondary schools. The graduate fellows serve as a “real-time” resource for the teachers as an engineering activity is implemented. The project has met with many levels of success and the focus has become how to make the work and accomplishments achieved sustainable. The most promising aspect has been to increase the teacher comfort level with the material. The challenge comes in presenting the teacher with the right amount of relevant material. The process of increasing teacher comfort is outlined. The benefits of offering engineering education to elementary students became apparent with a 21% gain in standardized test score values.

Tufts CEEO GK-12 Outreach Project

The Tufts University GK-12 project is a three-year project focused on pairing graduate-level engineering and computer science students with classroom teachers. The CEEO has 8 graduate fellows working in the classroom. Selection for program participation involves a yearly application process subsequent or concomitant to admission to the School of Engineering. Students complete an application with essay and submit it to the Center for Engineering Educational Outreach for consideration. Top candidates are then identified from the applicant pool and offered individual interviews with the grant’s principal investigator. Throughout the application process, assessment is made of individual experience, understanding of Center’s mission and vision for the development of primary and secondary engineering education, and ability to work effectively with teachers and children involved with program.

Within the graduate academic program, GK-12 graduate fellowships take the place of a traditional research assistant (RA) or teaching assistant (TA) position at the School of Engineering providing tuition and stipend. Fellows spend 20 hours per week on the project, with 16 hours (2 full school days) per week spent in the classroom of their partnering teacher. The remainder of the time allotted by fellows is spent taking part in seminars relating appropriate educational pedagogy, discussing classroom strategies for learning, and interacting with undergraduates working to support curricula ideas. Informal support takes place with similar numbers of social studies classes in crossover activities, although no social studies classroom teachers are formal partnering teachers. The project runs from June 1 to May 31 of the following year, allowing consistent

Proceedings of the 2003 American Society for Engineering Education Annual Conference & Exposition Copyright © 2003, American Society for Engineering Education

Miaoulis, I., & Rushton, E., & Gravel, B. (2003, June), Sustainability Issues Of K 12 Engineering Education Paper presented at 2003 Annual Conference, Nashville, Tennessee. 10.18260/1-2--11875

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