June 14, 2015
June 14, 2015
June 14, 2015
Diversity and International Forum
19.40.1 - 19.40.16
Utilization of STEM Tools and Workshops to Promote STEM Education in the United States and South Africa Christina L. Carmen, Ph.D. Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering Department University of Alabama in Huntsville Huntsville, Alabama, USA Ben Groenewald Department of Electrical Engineering Cape Peninsula University of Technology Cape Town, South Africa ABSTRACTAn academic partnership was established between the Cape Peninsula University of Technology(CPUT) in Cape Town, South Africa and the University of Alabama in Huntsville (UAH) in Huntsville,Alabama (AL) in 2012. This joint effort was termed the ALLiance for International Excellence amongthe future Space workforce, or ALLIES. Initially, the ALLIES partnership was centered withinengineering design classes at CPUT and UAH whereby engineering design tools and methodologieswere shared as well as a focus upon the design and development of Science, Technology, Engineering,and Mathematics (STEM) tools created by the CPUT and UAH engineering students. The STEM toolsare intended to provide Kindergarten through 12th grade (K-12) students-both in the US and SouthAfrica-an intuitive, hands-on learning experience in order to encourage the younger students to pursue aSTEM education. During the design process, visits are made to the K-12 schools in order to incorporatethe design suggestions of the students and teachers as well as ensure that the STEM tools provide anunderstanding of a required learning outcome specified within the curriculum. Thus far, as a result ofthe ALLIES collaboration, three STEM tools have been developed: a catapult and two table top windtunnels. While the catapult was donated to a school in South Africa and the wind tunnels were donatedto schools in the US, both STEM tools were designed and fabricated with input from both CPUT andUAH engineering design students. In 2013, the ALLIES effort was expanded beyond the design anddevelopment of STEM tools to include a workshop aimed at motivating and inspiring undergraduatestudents and educators throughout the Cape Town, South Africa region to pursue their own STEMinitiatives. The workshop focused upon the need to further develop the future STEM workforce andprovide guidelines for proactively integrating STEM initiatives within K-12 schools and universities.During the workshop, audience members also engaged in a brief space-related design project that can betailored to any age bracket. The present paper will provide a brief overview of the STEM tools that havebeen created thus far, with a focus upon the details and impact of the STEM outreach workshopconducted in South Africa. Data has been garnered that details the learning outcome and benefit of theSTEM tools upon US and South African K-12 students as well as the impact of the STEM workshop inSouth Africa.
Groenewald, B., & Carmen, C. L. (2015, June), Utilization of STEM Tools and Workshops to Promote STEM Education in the United States and South Africa Paper presented at 2015 ASEE International Forum, Seattle, Washington. https://peer.asee.org/17163
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