June 18, 2006
June 18, 2006
June 21, 2006
K-12 & Pre-College Engineering
11.1240.1 - 11.1240.17
Technology Assisted Science, Engineering and Mathematics Education at all Levels using K-Ph.D. Concept
Introduction Although United States is the world leader in a number of technological innovations, other countries are increasingly challenging this leadership by introducing science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) education with greater depth of knowledge at the grass root level (elementary and middle schools). For example, in contrast to the emphasis on earth and bio sciences in the US elementary and middle schools, more emphasis on the physics teaching in elementary and middle schools in some Asian countries may be related to high math and science scores in those countries. Whether this is an indication that an early physics education enhances logical thinking boosting math skills seems logical but needs to be investigated.
Traditionally, school science has been built around well defined problems, mostly involving top- down approaches where the decisions on learning methods are made by educational experts and organizations. In the real world, however, the problems are not well defined and clear-cut decisions on the best learning modules are very difficult. Consequently, a restructuring of school science around real-world problems has been suggested by educational experts and organizations1-3, which has led to a number of studies focusing on inquiry4 -7. Notable examples of inquiry based studies are Design-Based Science (DBS)8-17 and Learning By Design (LBD)18-20.
It is surprising that, in spite of all these learning techniques and presence of multi-million NSF- funded learning centers, math and scores are not improving as expected. This may be, in part, due to the hesitation of state boards and teachers to follow innovative paths of learning developed in the educational cemters. Recently, new learning techniques have focused on the use of technology that sparks the interest of children. A learning technique may be approved by educational experts and organizations but if it does not spark the interest of children, its efficacy may be questionable. A further development of the Design concept has benefited from virtual reality (VR) and augmented reality (AR)21-27, the later combines real and virtual worlds. Studies have suggested that, through the use of AR, spatial abilities can be improved22-23. VR/AR can also help explain complex concepts, devices and systems in an interesting manner. For example, using characters from popular animated films, such as Bug's Life, to explain complex concepts of math and science can substantially raise the interest of the children.
This work reports on an innovative Technology Assisted Science, Engineering and Mathematics (TASEM) education program that has been developed in collaboration with and participation of K-12 students and teachers28-29. As TASEM focuses on the interest and excitement level of the learner, it has sparked interest of over 600 K-12 students in last two years alone in Macomb and Oakland counties of Michigan. Using an environment, called from kindergarten to Ph.D. or K-Ph.D., graduate students involved in cutting-edge micro and nano technologies act as role models for the learner. Starting with examples of things that the learner is already familiar with, TASEM takes them on an exciting journey into the unknown. The first phase of the TASEM program has focused mainly on the development and use of technology in K-12 education. The understanding of micro and nano dimensions can help understand the role of technology in making micro-devices and -systems.
Micro and Nano Dimensions and Related Technologies As in the current work the technology is used as vehicle to teach Science, Engineering and
Aslam, D. (2006, June), Technology Assisted Science, Engineering And Mathematics (Tasem) Education At All Levels Using K Ph.D. Concept Paper presented at 2006 Annual Conference & Exposition, Chicago, Illinois. 10.18260/1-2--1448
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