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Using Engineering to Address the Common Core Standards: A Four-Week Workshop (Curriculum Exchange)

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2014 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition


Indianapolis, Indiana

Publication Date

June 15, 2014

Start Date

June 15, 2014

End Date

June 18, 2014



Conference Session

K-12 and Pre-College Engineering Division Curriculum Exchange

Tagged Division

K-12 & Pre-College Engineering

Page Count


Page Numbers

24.1326.1 - 24.1326.3



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Paper Authors


Patricia Carlson Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology

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Dr. Patricia ”Pat” A. Carlson is a transplanted middle westerner, having spent her childhood in Norfolk, Va. She came to Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology early in her teaching career and has taught a variety of courses over the past three decades. Dr. Carlson has held a number of American Society for Engineering Education summer fellowships that have taken her to NASA-Goddard, NASA-Langley, the Army Research Laboratory in Aberdeen, Maryland, and NASA’s Classroom of the Future in Wheeling, W.Va. She was on loan to the Air Force Human Resources Laboratory from 1989 to 1995, managing a project to transition advanced instructional technologies to ten different middle schools located in five states. She is on the editorial board of three professional publications and has served as National Research Council Senior Fellow assigned to the Air Force Human Resources Laboratory. In her spare time, Pat enjoys reading and gardening.

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Ryan Smith

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Using Engineering Content to Address the Common Core Standards: A Four Week Workshop (Curriculum Exchange)1. Background: This exhibit will make available several learning units developed by teachersduring a four week intensive workshop for middle school teachers of STEM. The multi-component treatment sought to map learning units onto the Common Core Standards bydesigning a vertical and horizontal curriculum for 6th – 8th grade, to be used within a large,metropolitan school district. The summer 2013 event was the first in a series of three (2013 –2016) and was funded through a $450,000 Math / Science Partnership Grant, made through the[state name] Department of Education.Teachers participated in week-long professional development for three engineering activities: Nanoscale Sessions focus on how nanotechnology has impacted our society and how Technologies engineers have learned to explore the world at the nanoscale. Solar House Teachers work in teams of "engineers" to design and build their own passive solar houses out of everyday items. Gravity Cruiser Teams design and construct a vehicle that is powered by gravity.2. Process and Products: In this second MSP collaboration between [University Name] and[school district name], we placed emphasis on integration among grade levels and developingengineering-content learning units that adhere to the Common Core State Standards (CCSS).Figure 1 illustrates how the various components work together. Figure 1: Five Areas of Integration Enacted in the MSP Workshops  Phase #1: [University K-12 Outreach Program] staff researched available materials, looking through stored learning units available through various professional associations (e.g., a World in Motion from the Society of Automotive Engineers, Materials World from Northwestern University, and TryEngineering from the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers - IEEE).  Phase #2: We then recruited area specialists from the [University] faculty and worked with them to map the discipline content / concepts and the pedagogy of the unit onto the [state] Common Core State Standards. The [University] faculty enriched each training session with supplemental materials. The [K-12 Outreach Program] staff worked diligently to purchase supplies and assembly the teaching kits that were distributed to each attendee (teachers and students). Phase #3: The [School District] teachers attended the workshops and completed three complex, hands-on project, as illustrated in the photos below. Phase #4: Of special note, participating teachers spent a portion of their day field-testing small learning units with a group of 350 gifted-and-talented students attending co-located summer enrichment programs that mirrored the learning activities being used in the teacher training. These trial-runs help teachers to make iterative improvements in their planned activities. Additionally, middle school teachers were able to work on aspects of delivery (pedagogy and methods) in a real-time environment, under the mentoring of master teachers from the student programs. The gravity car project proved a great favorite. Teachers helped students modify their vehicle designs using principles of physics, then held an Indy-style competition to determine the most successful team. Phase #5: Later in the summer (12 – 14 August), the same group of middle school teachers reconvened on the [University] campus shortly before the academic year began to fine-tune their lessons. During a four-day period, teachers worked with curriculum development specialists to re-adjust teaching methods and to integrate their modules into grade-level pacing guidelines. Teachers identified learning concepts, mapped them onto the Common Core Standards for each grade level, and then unified their enactment in the curricula across all three disciplines.

Carlson, P., & Smith, R. (2014, June), Using Engineering to Address the Common Core Standards: A Four-Week Workshop (Curriculum Exchange) Paper presented at 2014 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, Indianapolis, Indiana. 10.18260/1-2--23259

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