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Traveling Engineering Activity Kits – Energy And The Environment: Designed By College Students For Middle School Students

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Conference

2007 Annual Conference & Exposition

Location

Honolulu, Hawaii

Publication Date

June 24, 2007

Start Date

June 24, 2007

End Date

June 27, 2007

ISSN

2153-5965

Conference Session

Outreach Projects and General Energy Education

Tagged Division

Energy Conversion and Conservation

Page Count

12

Page Numbers

12.1505.1 - 12.1505.12

Permanent URL

https://peer.asee.org/2158

Download Count

121

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Paper Authors

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Elizabeth DeBartolo Rochester Institute of Technology

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ELIZABETH A. DEBARTOLO is an Associate Professor in the Mechanical Engineering Department at the Rochester Institute of Technology. She earned her BSE at Duke University in 1994 and her MSME and Ph.D. at Purdue University in 1996 and 2000, respectively. She works with several students in the area of fatigue life prediction. Dr. DeBartolo serves on her college's leadership teams for both multi-disciplinary capstone design and outreach program development.

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Margaret Bailey Rochester Institute of Technology

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MARGARET BAILEY, registered professional engineer, is the Kate Gleason Chair and Associate Professor in Mechanical Engineering at RIT. She earned her BSE at Pennsylvania State University in 1988 and her Ph.D. at University of Colorado at Boulder in 1998. She conducts research with students using advanced thermodynamic analyses and neural network modeling applied to various, energy-intensive, complex mechanical systems. Dr. Bailey serves in numerous leadership roles within her college, including Executive Director of RIT’s Women in Engineering Program (WE@RIT); ME Department Advocate for Engineering Honors Program; and Member of Multidisciplinary Capstone Design Leadership Team.

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Melissa Zaczek Cummins

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MELISSA ZACZEK is a Performance Development Engineer with Cummins Emission Solutions. She earned her Bachelors of Science and Masters of Engineering in Mechanical Engineering from Rochester Institute of Technology in 2006. She served as Project Manager of the TEAK Team and also has presented the kits at multiple conferences.

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Timothy Schriefer Rochester Institute of Technology

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TIMOTHY SCHRIEFER is a 2007 graduate of RIT with a dual BS/MS in Mechanical Engineering and was a member of the TEAK senior design team. His thesis research was in the area of thermoelectrics and alternative fuels.

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Patrick Kelley Carnegie Mellon University

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PATRICK GAGE KELLEY is a PhD Student at Carnegie Mellon University in Computation, Organization & Society. He earned two BS degrees in Computer Engineering and English Literature from the Rochester Insitute of Technology in 2006. Currently he works in information visualization and case-based explanation techniques surrounding user's privacy policies.

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Mallika Ramaswamy Rochester Institute of Technology

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MALLIKA RAMASWAMY is in the Operations Management Leadership Development Program with General Electric's Energy division. She earned her Bachelor of Science in Industrial Engineering and Master of Engineering in Engineering Management from the Rochester Institute of Technology in 2007. She was a member of the team that designed the TEAK kits and served as an educator in outreach development activities incorporating the TEAK kits. Her research interests are in the area of sustainability, energy and policy.

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Nicholas Ryczko Pratt & Whitney

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NICHOLAS RYCZKO is an Aero/Thermo Engineer in the Advanced Engines Performance group at Pratt & Whitney. He earned his Bachelor of Science in Mechanical Engineering from the Rochester Institute of Technology in 2006. He was a member of the team that designed the TEAK kits and served as an educator in outreach development activities incorporating the TEAK kits in 2006. His research interests are in thermodynamics and supersonic aerodynamics.

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

Traveling Engineering Activity Kits – Energy and the Environment: Designed by College Students for Middle School Students Abstract

A 2005-06 Multidisciplinary Senior Design team created a series of classroom activities designed to teach middle school students about engineering topics related to energy and the environment. This traveling engineering activity kit (TEAK) project consists of five kits, each based on a different energy-related theme: Heat Transfer, Electrical Energy, Wind and Water, Solar Power, and Chemical Energy. Each kit contains an Academic Activity to teach a background concept, a Hands-On Activity to allow students to apply the concepts learned, and a Take-Home Activity that can be done independently at home. The design team also developed instruction manuals suitable for non-engineers, lesson plans, handouts, and post-activity quizzes to assess participants’ learning. To date, the kits have been used by over 100 6th graders as well as dozens more students participating in on-and off-campus outreach programs. This paper describes how and why undergraduate engineering students were involved in designing the TEAK educational tool, including a detailed list of customer needs and design specifications that were defined during their design process. Discussions are also included on the basic TEAK structure, kit descriptions, and assessment results to date.

Introduction

As the number of retirements in science and engineering and the demand for trained professionals in those fields increases, while enrollment in college degree programs in those fields remains steady, our nation may be facing a shortage of scientists and engineers1. It is important to increase general interest in engineering, and one way to do this is to encourage pre- college students from traditionally underrepresented groups to enter into engineering careers. For example, women make up approximately 50% of the population, yet only represent about 20% of college-aged engineering students2. Women are, however, represented in higher numbers in fields such as Environmental, Biomedical, and Chemical Engineering3. Since these fields seem to hold special appeal for women, it was a natural decision to choose one of them as a topical focus for the present project.

A unique aspect of the Traveling Engineering Activity Kit (TEAK) project was the decision to involve undergraduate students in the design of the activities and accompanying materials, as well as the presentation of the activities to middle school students. Prior studies support this decision, indicating that middle school teachers tend to feel strongly about the importance of design, engineering, and technology, but do not have familiarity with the material4. During the 2005-06 academic year, a team of Multidisciplinary Senior Design (MSD) students set out to design, build, and test a series of hands-on activities intended to increase awareness of and interest in engineering as a field of study. These activities all centered on a theme of how engineering work can be related to energy and the environment. During the 2006-07 academic year, a second team of Software Engineering students is working to design an interactive companion website to the TEAK activities.

DeBartolo, E., & Bailey, M., & Zaczek, M., & Schriefer, T., & Kelley, P., & Ramaswamy, M., & Ryczko, N. (2007, June), Traveling Engineering Activity Kits – Energy And The Environment: Designed By College Students For Middle School Students Paper presented at 2007 Annual Conference & Exposition, Honolulu, Hawaii. https://peer.asee.org/2158

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