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Undergraduate Experience With Engineering Outreach

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2003 Annual Conference


Nashville, Tennessee

Publication Date

June 22, 2003

Start Date

June 22, 2003

End Date

June 25, 2003



Conference Session

Related Engineering Programs

Page Count


Page Numbers

8.1218.1 - 8.1218.6



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Paper Authors

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Laurie Cormier

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Kelly Clark

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Emily Ryan

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

Session 1732

The Undergraduate Experience in Engineering Outreach

Emily Ryan, Kelly Clark, Laurie Cormier Tufts University Center for Engineering Educational Outreach

Tuesday, 9:24 am. No sooner have you sat down at the office computer then a pop up window tells you “You’ve Got Mail.” Throwing off your winter jacket and kicking your backpack beneath the desk, you settle back to see what they’ve got for you today. Julie wants further information on the Indus River Valley. Pat will be by at 2 to pick up his aquarium. Brian is looking to do an earthquake unit. Do any old activities fit? Closing the email account, you post your freshly jotted notes up on the wall. Turning back towards the room you take a deep breath and look around. Balsa wood trusses are in mid construction on the table. Copies of the Massachusetts and National Technology Standards are piled high on the bookshelves, alongside a few activity notebooks and a bright green Lego kit. A (now dormant) volcano sits in the corner next to Pat’s nearly completed ecology aquarium. Sitting back down you can’t help but feel content. Surrounded by the accomplishments that represent your impact on the program and the children themselves, you pause for a moment before asking yourself, where do I begin today?

The National Science Foundation (NSF) GK-12 program is managed through the Center for Engineering Educational Outreach (CEEO) at Tufts University. The CEEO is a nonprofit organization working with area schools to incorporate engineering into preK-12 classrooms. The CEEO supports roughly fifteen different programs. The programs range from a summer camp for middle school students to workshops for teachers and educators.

The GK-12 project is a three-year project focused on pairing graduate-level engineering and computer science students with classroom teachers. The CEEO had six graduate fellows and four undergraduate fellows in the first year of the project, and currently has eight graduate fellows working in the classroom and four undergraduate fellows working with the graduate fellows. Graduate fellows spend twenty hours per week on the project, with sixteen hours (two full school days) per week spent in the classroom of their partnering teacher. The fellows spend their remaining time taking part in seminars relating appropriate educational pedagogy, discussing classroom learning strategies, and interacting with their undergraduates. Undergraduate fellows spend fifteen hours a week working with the graduate fellows to create activities and demonstrations for the classroom.

The undergraduate experience with engineering outreach is understated but highly rewarding. On a daily basis, the undergraduate fellows are challenged and energized by their role in the NSF GK- 12 program. Working behind the scenes, the undergraduate fellow’s duty is to help the graduate fellows create activities and demonstrations for their classrooms, map various education standards

“Proceedings of the 2003 American Society of Engineering Education Annual Conference & Exposition Copyright © 2003, American Society of Engineering Education”

Cormier, L., & Clark, K., & Ryan, E. (2003, June), Undergraduate Experience With Engineering Outreach Paper presented at 2003 Annual Conference, Nashville, Tennessee. 10.18260/1-2--12035

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