June 18, 2006
June 18, 2006
June 21, 2006
K-12 & Pre-College Engineering
11.1403.1 - 11.1403.14
Using Real-Time Sensors in High School Living Environment Labs: A GK-12 Project
In a series of recent op-ed pieces in The New York Times and in his latest book The World Is Flat,1 Thomas Friedman points to an urgent need to develop a strong and technologically trained workforce to ensure the American leadership in scientific discovery and technological innovation. This call to action has been joined by business and government advisory groups such as the American Electronics Association,2 the National Innovation Initiative,3 and the National Academy of Engineering;4 and reflected in the remarks delivered by industry captains such as Bill Gates at the 2005 National Education Summit on High Schools.5 In a recent letter6 to the editor of The New York Times, titled “Scientific Competition,” Debra W. Stewart, the President of the American Council of Graduate Schools, noted that “the last time the United States carried out a national strategy to improve our scientific competitiveness was in response to another nation surpassing us technologically.” She referred of course to the launch of Sputnik by the U.S.S.R., which led the United States government to pass a series of immediate measures that enabled students to pursue doctoral study in scientific and technical fields, thus propelling the nation to accelerate its technological advancement and regain its leadership.
In a similar vein, today’s global economy and our growing trade deficits demand bold new programs to produce the highly trained work force needed to maintain the U.S. leadership in science and technology. The foundation of scientific and technological leadership of a nation is built upon a deep understanding and appreciation of the basic sciences and math7 by its young scholars. Unfortunately, today’s youth exhibit a lack of interest in pursuing careers in scientific and technical fields. A shortage of well-trained science and math teachers, uninspiring and antiquated science labs, and the failure of school systems to provide competitive salaries to those who teach in these shortage areas lead students to perform poorly in science disciplines. This ultimately contributes to young people losing interest in studying science. This state of affairs persists despite the fact that today’s youth are increasingly drawn to modern technological wonders such as video games, mp3 players, and instant messaging. Students’ interest in state-of- the-art technologies can be used to deliver innovative educational curricula in science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) disciplines.8 At the very least, high school science labs can be revitalized by a systematic integration of sensing and computing technologies to support hands-on experiments.
Under a GK—12 Fellows project titled, “Revitalizing Achievement by using Instrumentation in Science Education9 (RAISE),” Polytechnic University and four inner city
Walia, M., & YU, E., & Kapila, V., & Iskander, M., & Kriftcher, N. (2006, June), Using Real Time Sensors In High School Living Environment Labs: A Gk 12 Project Paper presented at 2006 Annual Conference & Exposition, Chicago, Illinois. 10.18260/1-2--927
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