New Orleans, Louisiana
June 26, 2016
June 26, 2016
August 28, 2016
Pre-College Engineering Education Division
XX Xxxxxxxx (XXX) opened as a U.S. Department of Education Magnet School in August 2003 in the 9th largest public school district in the country. Utilizing a three-year Magnet School grant, the school established a Center for Mathematics and Engineering to developed its integrated, whole school curriculum with engineering as the core and the connector. The results of this careful planning and meticulous attention to details is striking. For the last nine years straight (through 2015), this intercity elementary school has been named a Magnet School of Excellence by Magnet Schools of America. XXX enjoys a national reputation and has been recognized locally five times during that same period for excellence in elementary education. In 2014-15, the State of Florida reported that 82% of XXX's 5th graders scored at grade level (Level 3) or above in the 2015 FCAT Science 2.0 tests. This is an amazing statistic for any school. Below are highlights from the school's 2015 testing experience.
• 82% of XXX 5th graders scored at Level 3 or above in the 2015 FCAT Science 2.0 test. • 46% of XXX 5th graders scored at Level 5 in the 2015 FCAT Science 2.0 tests. This ranks XX Xxxxxxxx as the #1 elementary school in the school district and in the top 5% in the State for performance on the FCAT 2.0 Science test in 2015. • The percentage of African-American students achieving level 3 or higher on the same FCAT Science 2.0 test increased from less than 5% in 2008 to over 65% in 2015.
Whole school integration, focused professional development, and high standards for academic excellence are foundational to XXX success. That effort has produced a learning community where all students at XXX have integrated learning opportunities that stimulate their intellectual curiosity, require them to demonstrate they have learned how to learn, and enable them to become productive and effective citizens. XXX does this using engineering as its integration focus for every student in all classes and at all grade levels.
K-5 educators are attracted to engineering as an education vehicle because it is compatible with their tactile project based approach to teaching. Since engineering technology's mufti is, by definition, “hands-on” and project based it is easy to convince elementary school educators that engineering type projects are fun ways to have students learn science principles. In fact, most K-5 teachers already use "science fair" type projects with their latent but heavy component of back yard engineering as the basis for typical elementary school science lessons. The challenge is to extend this application of engineering ideas, design, and technology to the level that elementary engineering education is a specific defined and structured approach to an integrated STEM education platform as well as a pedagogical tool for integrating the "reading, writing, and arithmetic" elements of K-5 education. Results at XXX suggest that their approach will meet this challenge.
This paper evaluates XX Xxxxxxxx Elementary School’s engineering integrated experience for elementary education. It discusses impediments to its success, reviews statewide test scores and school ranking over the last five years. It also reviews the structure of the curriculum, strategies for teacher professional development, and the data that demonstrates their success.
Barger, M., & Gilbert, R. (2016, June), Twelve Years of Growth and Success at Douglas L. Jamerson Elementary School Center for Mathematics and Engineering Paper presented at 2016 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, New Orleans, Louisiana. 10.18260/p.27084
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