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Using Educational “Hands-On” Experiential Tools to Introduce Math, Science and Engineering Concepts to K-16 Students (Research to Practice)

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Conference

2013 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition

Location

Atlanta, Georgia

Publication Date

June 23, 2013

Start Date

June 23, 2013

End Date

June 26, 2013

ISSN

2153-5965

Conference Session

Outreach Along the K-12 Pathways to Engineering

Tagged Division

K-12 & Pre-College Engineering

Page Count

26

Page Numbers

23.1312.1 - 23.1312.26

Permanent URL

https://peer.asee.org/22696

Download Count

94

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Paper Authors

biography

Kelly Doyle P.E. University of Nevada, Reno

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Kelly Doyle is a licensed professional engineer and has B.S. and M.S. degrees in Civil Engineering from University of Nevada, Reno. She currently works as Administrative Faculty at the University where she recently managed a large research project on curved bridges in the Large-Scale Structures Laboratory. In addition to her research and management capacity, Doyle handles educational outreach for the Center for Civil Engineering Earthquake Research. She conducts and schedules tours for visitors, directs an undergraduate research program, and helps organize Civil Engineering summer camps. On this project she served as lead author and developed the K-12 Seismic Design Competition activity.
Doyle has been active with ASCE for many years and serves as Treasurer for the Truckee Meadows Branch (TMB) Board of Directors and President of the TMB Younger Member Group. She also serves as an adviser to the student chapter and was awarded the Practitioner Adviser of the Year for Region 8 in from 2011 to 2013. Recently, she was awarded 2013 Young Engineer of the Year by the ASCE TMB. She also serves on the Nevada Chapter AGC Education Committee.

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Lelli Van Den Einde University of California, San Diego

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Lelli Van Den Einde is a faculty lecturer (LPSOE) in the Department of Structural Engineering at UC San Diego's Jacobs School of Engineering. Dr. Van Den Einde’s interest in teaching has influenced her current research efforts towards improving engineering education pedagogy through the use of technology in the classroom. She is involved in promoting academic integrity as a way to prepare our students to be ethical practicing engineers, and is the chair of the External Advisory Committee for the IDEA center, which promotes inclusion, diversity, excellence and advancement in engineering. She has conducted research in performance-based earthquake engineering and large-scale experimentation of reinforced concrete, FRP composite, and hybrid bridges.

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Catherine W. French University of Minnesota, Twin Cities

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Catherine French is College of Science and Engineering Distinguished Professor in the Department of Civil Engineering at the University of Minnesota. She received her B. C.E. from the University of Minnesota in 1979. She received her M.S. and Ph.D. degrees from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign in 1980 and 1984, respectively. She has been a member of the faculty of the University of Minnesota since 1984. Her research addresses the behavior of reinforced and prestressed concrete structural systems, field monitoring of bridges, numerical and experimental investigations of structural systems including the effects of earthquakes, evaluation and repair of damaged structures, and development and application of new materials. She is also actively involved in education and outreach activities with the Department of Civil Engineering and the NSF Network for Earthquake Engineering Simulation (NEES) Multi-Axial Subassemblage Testing (MAST) Laboratory. She is a Fellow of the American Concrete Institute (ACI) and the Precast/Prestressed Concrete Institute, and recipient of the National Science Foundation (NSF) Presidential Young Investigator Award, ACI Henry L. Kennedy Award, ACI Reinforced Concrete Research Council Arthur J. Boase Award, and American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) Raymond C. Reese Research Prize. She is involved in a number of professional activities including serving as a member of the ACI 318 Structural Concrete Building Code Committee for which she chairs the subcommittee on Bond and Development. She is a past president of the MN-IA ACI Section and the MN Section of ASCE.

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Heidi A Tremayne P.E. Pacific Earthquake Engineering Research Center

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Heidi Tremayne is the outreach director for the Pacific Earthquake Engineering Research Center (PEER) with headquarters at UC Berkeley. PEER’s research is conducted in many fields including structural and geotechnical engineering, lifelines, transportation, earthquake hazard, and public policy. Tremayne disseminates research results and conclusions to various users including professional engineers, students and faculty, funding agencies, news media, and other interested groups. In this effort, she utilizes both her engineering skills (she is a licensed California Civil Engineer) and communication skills to bridge the gap between academia and engineering practice so that new research findings are used to design safer infrastructure that can withstand future earthquakes. She also manages PEER’s educational programs including PEER’s undergraduate internship Program, a K-12 outreach program for local schools that teaches students about earthquakes and engineering, and various activities for graduate students including conference poster sessions and international workshops.

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Sean P Brophy Purdue University, West Lafayette

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Dr. Sean Brophy is the Co-Leader of the Educational, Outreach and Training them for the George E. Brown Network for Earthquake Engineering Simulation (NEES). His research in engineering education and learning sciences explores how children learn through interactions with technologies ranging from manual manipulative like structures students design build and test with shake tables to digital manipulative with mobile devices. He continues to explore new methods to enhance informal and formal learning experiences.

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Abstract

Using Educational “Hands-On” Experiential Tools to Introduce Math, Science and Engineering Concepts to K-16 Students (Research to Practice)Earthquakes present dynamic real-world problems to introduce science, technology, engineeringand math (STEM) principles to K-16 students, while underscoring the importance of research inearthquake engineering. This paper discusses the effectiveness of using experiential “hands-on”tools (instructional table-top earthquake simulators, or shaking tables) for advancing these topics.Research questions include: 1) can K-12 students gain an understanding of complex topics thatare typically taught in university level engineering curricula with the shaking table activities, 2)do these activities motivate K-12 students to consider educational and career paths in STEM, 3)can activities be effectively scaled up or down to reach different levels in the K-16 spectrum?Educators from a consortium of top national universities have collaborated to develop hands-onactivities to be used in conjunction with instructional shaking tables to engage and excitestudents about STEM. These tools have been used to introduce complicated topics such asseismology, vibration response, and structural performance and design to students, even at thekindergarten level. Younger students are able to develop and test hypotheses, as well as to buildand test engineering solutions. More advanced students can predict the behavior of structuralsystems by applying concepts of math and physics to develop analytical solutions that can becompared with experiments. The beauty of the activities is that they can utilize shaking tablesthat range from expensive, higher technology simulators to low cost/low technology solutions.Typically the shaking table activities have been used in summer enrichment programs orinformal learning environments such as school visits to university research labs. However,materials have been developed for teachers to use in the classroom to prepare for and follow upon the activities, and many are aligned with state school standards at various grade levels. Forexample, to address the science standards relating to earthquakes in California, some of the K-6activities allow students to build structures made from toothpicks and gumdrops or K’Nex andtest them using shaking tables. At older grade levels, students construct buildings from balsawood and predict the response of the structures. These activities are being used and assessed atmultiple universities around the country for education and outreach.Assessment results show that the activities using shaking tables are effective in engaging K-16students and teachers in STEM and increasing the students’ interests in pursuing STEM careers.Formal assessment tools have been developed to determine that elementary students (K-6) learnsimple earthquake engineering concepts from these activities, and that older studentsdemonstrate increased awareness and understanding of basic engineering principles. K-12students respond positively to questions such as “This activity helped me understand howengineers work to keep people safe” and “After this activity, I know what engineers do.” Otherassessments are open ended such as “What earthquake engineering principles/concepts did youlearn?” In this paper, the assessment tools and results for a variety of these shaking tableactivities will be summarized and discussed.

Doyle, K., & Van Den Einde, L., & French, C. W., & Tremayne, H. A., & Brophy, S. P. (2013, June), Using Educational “Hands-On” Experiential Tools to Introduce Math, Science and Engineering Concepts to K-16 Students (Research to Practice) Paper presented at 2013 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, Atlanta, Georgia. https://peer.asee.org/22696

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