June 18, 2006
June 18, 2006
June 21, 2006
11.1339.1 - 11.1339.8
Thinking and Doing Math and Science with Engineering: A Partnership
Introduction During the summers of 2004 and 2005, the Colleges of Engineering and Education at the University of Wyoming teamed up to provide engineering topics-based workshops for K-12 teachers. The workshop topics focused upon contemporary engineering technology and applications, providing a foundation for inquiry-based lessons in K-12 math and science classrooms.
In this paper, the authors summarize the motivation and mechanics behind the first two years of workshops, involving over 40 teachers and a cadre of University of Wyoming faculty, graduate and undergraduate students. While taking part in the workshops, the K-12 teachers were responsible for constructing lesson plan modules targeted at standards-based delivery of math and science with engineering topics as the underlying base for investigation. Summaries of the variety of modules generated, both in grade level and content, are provided, along with feedback from participants who have put the modules to work in their classrooms.
The efforts described here are motivated by several factors: Shrinking regional enrollment projections for undergraduate science/math and engineering programs, the need to assist teachers with investigative topics in math and science which align efficiently with state education standards, the desire to present students with the context of engineering practice throughout the K-12 program of study, as well as the hope to solidify communication channels between collegiate and K-12 education partners. The efforts have been enabled by funding from the Department of Education as well as the Hewlett Foundation and will continue with a workshop during the summer of 2006.
The Motivation The future of U.S. technological competitiveness is a function of the degree to which able students (including women, ethnic minorities, and persons with disabilities) will pursue careers in engineering and science. The best opportunities for employment and advancement will go to those prepared to deal confidently with quantitative, scientific, and technological issues. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics has projected a 15.2% increase from 2000-2010 in the need for employees trained in engineering and other technical specialties1. However, the U.S. Department of Education's National Center for Educational Statistics has predicted a decrease in the number of high school graduates in Wyoming, and this decrease is also expected to occur in many of the Rocky Mountain and Midwestern states2. The declining number of college-age students, coupled with a declining interest in science and engineering careers, has serious implications for the U.S. economy and international competitiveness3. The picture is becoming quite clear; we must broaden and retain the pool of those pursuing technical careers4.
One portion of the solution to meeting the projected workforce needs, in a climate exacerbated by declining high school populations, requires increasing the fraction of high school graduates pursing engineering careers. To increase the fraction, early exposure of K-12 students to the issues, applications, and opportunities in engineering is absolutely vital. In addition, we must pursue increased participation by traditionally underserved populations.
Hamann, J., & Hutchison, L., & Moore, A. (2006, June), Thinking And Doing Math And Science With Engineering: A Partnership Paper presented at 2006 Annual Conference & Exposition, Chicago, Illinois. 10.18260/1-2--1180
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