June 23, 2013
June 23, 2013
June 26, 2013
K-12 & Pre-College Engineering
23.1283.1 - 23.1283.13
University-community partnerships and program development in pre-college engineering educationWith the increasing discussion on STEM principles in K-12 education, specifically onengineering skills and practicum, public schools look to university-based education researchersfor curriculum development. These partnerships are low cost to the school district, yet theyremain mutually beneficial. Such is the nature of the growing relationship between TuftsUniversity and Somerville High School, which is initiating a four year “pre-engineering”program for students in its Center for Career and Technical Education (CTE) with the help of theCenter for Engineering Education and Outreach (CEEO). This “pre-engineering” program drawsfrom a number of introductory collegiate engineering and service learning courses, focusing onproject-based, interactive class work, some elements of an inverted classroom model, andconstructionism. Additionally, the program’s development reveals issues that can arise incommunity-university partnerships, specifically the vital importance of communication betweenboth parties. Programs like “pre-engineering” also provide university students and faculty withopportunities for outreach and community involvement, incorporating a rare service record intothe heavily prescribed collegiate engineering track. In this paper, we discuss these issues as wellas the focus on engineering as more than a career path for students who are in accelerated mathand science programs, stressing the importance of the social functions and components ofengineering projects. We will also describe the four-year track that constitutes the “pre-engineering” program as an intentional progression from basic knowledge of structure, materials,and drafting to complete ownership over all components of an engineering service project in acapstone requirement. Each year builds an increasing awareness of the dynamic engineeringdesign process as a guide, tool, and resource for engineers of all experience levels and fields.We draw upon appropriate math and science skills while also challenging students to considerbudgetary restrictions, organizational efficacy, and knowledge of human factors. We hope toilluminate the mutually beneficial outcomes of these community partnerships and establish asolid framework for engineering preparation and instruction in secondary education.
Peritz, E. A., & Hynes, M. M. (2013, June), University-community partnerships and program development in pre-college engineering education Paper presented at 2013 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, Atlanta, Georgia. https://peer.asee.org/22668
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