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Teachers in Industry: Measuring the Impact of a K-12 Teacher Internship Program

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2013 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition


Atlanta, Georgia

Publication Date

June 23, 2013

Start Date

June 23, 2013

End Date

June 26, 2013



Conference Session

K-12 Professional Development I

Tagged Division

K-12 & Pre-College Engineering

Page Count


Page Numbers

23.1134.1 - 23.1134.14



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Paper Authors


Bradley Bowen Ed.D North Dakota State University Orcid 16x16

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Bradley Bowen is an assistant professor at North Dakota State University. He has a duel appointment with the Teacher Education Department and the Department of Construction Management and Engineering. He has a B.S. in Civil Engineering from Virginia Tech and received a Master's of Civil Engineering and an Ed.D. in Technology Education from N.C. State University. With five years of corporate engineering experience and six years of high school teaching, he specializes in developing and integrating project-based activities into the K-12 classroom that incorporate STEM learning and engineering concepts as well as providing professional development for K-12 teachers.

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Teachers in Industry: Measuring the Impact of a K-12 Teacher Internship Program (Research to Practice; Professional Development) As the importance of STEM education increases, it is becoming critical for teachers tocreate authentic experiences for students in the classroom. Therefore, teachers need to have anunderstanding of how the engineering design process and 21st century skills are being utilized tosolve technological problems in the corporate world. However, teachers who receive licensurethrough a traditional university educational program typically do not have corporate workexperience. By placing teachers in a corporate work environment, they can gain valuable first-hand knowledge of how companies are using the engineering design process and 21st centuryskills to solve technological problems. The teachers can then take this knowledge back to theclassroom to make the course content more relevant for their students through real-worldapplication of the teacher's experience. For the past two years, ________ University has been developing and implementing ateacher internship program for teachers in grades K-12. This program is being developed basedon research that supports how industry work experience is beneficial for teachers and theirstudents. The main research question revolves around measuring the impact of the internshipexperience on the K-12 teachers and how it affects their classroom teaching practices. To answerthis question, the program was developed to introduce the teachers to the engineering designprocess and how companies use processes along with 21st century skills to solve problems. Thecomponents of the program include: 1) a four-week research-based summer work experience at acorporation that traditionally specializes in product design, product development, problemsolving, and other engineering-related activities; 2) development of a STEM-focused project-based lesson plan centered around the corporate work experience and application of theengineering design process; 3) implementation of the lesson plan in the fall of the followingschool year in a non-traditional format and document how it was delivered and the assessmentsdeveloped for measuring the gain in student knowledge; and 4) redesign and resubmission of thelesson based on reflective practice. Teachers are required to register for a distance andcontinuing education course which holds them accountable for the program requirements. Inaddition, follow-up contact is maintained between the teacher and university for continuedprofessional development and support throughout the school year. Data has been collected over the past two years to measure several different aspects ofthe program and how it has affected the teachers' classroom teaching practices. Both quantitativeand qualitative metrics have been used to evaluate the teacher's responses to the effectivenessand quality of the internship experience. The data shows how the experience has changed theprocess in which the teachers develop and implement lesson plans as well as how they haveintegrated new processes in terms of classroom management. This paper will describe thecorporate work experience and research project in more detail and results that show positiveimpact of the teacher internship program.

Bowen, B. (2013, June), Teachers in Industry: Measuring the Impact of a K-12 Teacher Internship Program Paper presented at 2013 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, Atlanta, Georgia. 10.18260/1-2--22519

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