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The Stars Gk 12 Program At The University Of South Florida

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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

Emerging Trends in Engineering Education Poster Session

Page Count


Page Numbers

10.1325.1 - 10.1325.10



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Paper Authors

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Tapas Das

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Project Fellows

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Louis Martin-Vega

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Liz Hunnicutt

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Grisslle Centeno

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Geoffery Okogbaa

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Cheriese Edwards

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Ashok Kumar

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Rajesh Ganesan

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

The STARS GK-12 Program at the University of South Florida

Louis Martin-Vega, Rajesh Ganesan, Tapas K. Das, Cheriese Edwards, Geoffery O. Okogbaa, Grisselle Centeno, Ashok Kumar, Liz Hunnicutt, and Project Fellows.

University of South Florida / School District of Hillsborough County, Florida

Abstract: This paper documents the development and implementation of STARS (Students, Teachers, And Resources in the Sciences) a unique graduate Fellowship program at the University of South Florida that targets the K-5 school environment. Sponsored by NSF's GK-12 program, the USF implementation has resulted in the development of innovative outreach and educational tools and modules in cutting edge technology areas such as nanotechnology, simulation, genetic engineering, electric circuits, and biosensors. The project is now in its third year, and serves as an exemplary model for the emerging trends in engineering education at the elementary school level. Both the challenges and opportunities associated with implementing this project at the elementary school level are explored and discussed. A documentary style video that chronicles the history and impact of the program will also be presented.

Introduction: Recent reports of the performance of America’s children and youth from both the Third International Mathematics and Science Study (TIMSS)1 and the National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP)2 echo a dismal message of lackluster performance. This finding is supported by the school performance report from the School District of Hillsborough County (SDHC)3, which shows that 30% of the schools are below C grade and 45% are below B grade. Now three decades old; it is time that the nation heeded it - before it is too late.” A recent study among K-5 teachers in the Hillsborough County, Florida (location of the STARS project) showed that 64% of the teachers did not feel prepared in science content and 49% did not feel prepared in mathematics. We firmly believe that enough warning has been provided and it is now time for action, that is, to provide professional development and content materials to the teachers in order for them to enrich the learning opportunities for K-5 students in science and mathematics. The NSF GK-12 program4 offers a unique opportunity to address this need.

Project STARS5 focuses on who we believe are the most neglected group of children, namely the K-5 students. In fact a great deal of the motivation for this project is driven by the lackluster experiences relative to science and mathematics education received by the children of the PI and various co-PI’s when they were

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

Das, T., & Fellows, P., & Martin-Vega, L., & Hunnicutt, L., & Centeno, G., & Okogbaa, G., & Edwards, C., & Kumar, A., & Ganesan, R. (2005, June), The Stars Gk 12 Program At The University Of South Florida Paper presented at 2005 Annual Conference, Portland, Oregon. 10.18260/1-2--15041

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