June 24, 2007
June 24, 2007
June 27, 2007
K-12 & Pre-College Engineering
12.1397.1 - 12.1397.8
The Cincinnati STEM Initiative Abstract The paper describes an innovative approach to providing high school students an introduction to engineering and technology. Educators from the University of Cincinnati and three area high schools have collaborated on the design of the course and the development of the curriculum. Characteristics of the course presented in the paper include providing the didactic materials through technology, using classroom time for hands-on activities, and using college students as mentors for the program. The course has been designed to be adaptable to the needs of the individual schools while being scalable so that additional schools can participate.
This is a new endeavor such that a rigorous presentation and evaluation of pedagogical effectiveness is not yet possible. Rather, the collaborative approach employed and the methods used to provide a course that is engaging to this student population are presented for discussion.
Background The need to focus on effective Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) education is increasingly recognized as an urgent national priority. While there is an urgent need to ensure the adequacy of the US science and engineering workforce, college enrollment in STEM disciplines is flat, particularly for women and minorities.
Many high school students choose not to pursue STEM disciplines due to a number of factors including: • Lack of understanding of the nature of STEM opportunities • STEM careers are seen as less relevant to society than medical or business careers • Perceived difficulty of the programs of study
The University of Cincinnati is currently working with two all-girls’ high schools and a large public high school with a diverse student body to develop and deliver curriculum that will engage high school students in STEM areas.
Mount Notre Dame High School 1 Mount Notre Dame is a four-year comprehensive, college prep Catholic girls’ high school located in Reading, Ohio, a suburb of Cincinnati. The student body is approximately 750 young women. Over 97% of recent graduates have gone on to two or four-year colleges.
Mother of Mercy High School 2 Mother of Mercy High School is a four-year comprehensive, college-prep Catholic high school for young women located in a suburb of Cincinnati. The school has an enrollment of 611 students. The class of 2006 included 130 graduates, 97% of whom went on to post-secondary education. Mean ACT score was 23.2, while the mean SAT was 1051.
Princeton High School 3 Princeton High School is a relatively large, four-year comprehensive high school that serves approximately 2,000 students. Academic program offerings span the International Baccalaureate program, through Technology, Business, and General Studies. Approximately 82% of the
Rutz, E. (2007, June), The Cincinnati Stem Initiative Paper presented at 2007 Annual Conference & Exposition, Honolulu, Hawaii. https://peer.asee.org/1653
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