New Orleans, Louisiana
June 26, 2016
June 26, 2016
August 28, 2016
Computers in Education
A new program, STEM Scholars, was created to teach high school students skills that are consistent across science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) fields. STEM Scholars is a partnership between a doctoral-granting four-year university and a local high school to develop an extra-curricular activity for high school students. The program enlisted 24 sophomore high school students that included 8 female students and 7 students of any gender from a minority group that is under-represented in STEM careers. Students are exposed to Unix/Linux, data plotting, shell scripting, and algorithm design. Such skills are necessary for solving research problems in disciplines that use numerical and heuristic methods.
STEM Scholars includes bi-weekly hour-long seminars that teach students through hands-on training of Ubuntu Linux, bash shell programming/scripting, and GNUplot data plotting software. Additionally, the students compete in teams to design an algorithm that solves a puzzle in FreeFlow, a puzzle game that runs on Android/iOS platforms. This program aims to engage high school students by using example problems that are relevant to their current studies. Therefore, math problems were taken from a Scholastic Aptitude Test (SAT) workbook as well as a Calculus textbook. An additional goal is that the students continue the exercises independent of the seminar. To this end, the puzzle game can be accessed from a smart phone and the tools that are used in the seminar are freely available.
This program has the potential to benefit both high school students and universities. High school students are exposed to the STEM curriculum and the university environment. Additionally, the examples used in the program provide preparation for both the SAT exam and Calculus. The university benefits by creating relationships with potential applicants that will be better prepared for the their curriculum. Success of the program will be measured through the results of a post-assessment survey (quantitative 5-point Likert scale) of the participants, as well as a survey of non-participants from higher grade levels of the same high school. The measured outcomes will be based on the participants' interest, knowledge, and future engagement in algorithms, research, Linux, and pursing STEM careers. Data on one year of the program will be available to present at the conference.
Limbrick, D. B. (2016, June), WORK IN PROGRESS: Teaching Broadly-Applicable STEM Skills to High School Sophomores Using Linux and Smartphones Paper presented at 2016 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, New Orleans, Louisiana. 10.18260/p.27035
ASEE holds the copyright on this document. It may be read by the public free of charge. Authors may archive their work on personal websites or in institutional repositories with the following citation: © 2016 American Society for Engineering Education. Other scholars may excerpt or quote from these materials with the same citation. When excerpting or quoting from Conference Proceedings, authors should, in addition to noting the ASEE copyright, list all the original authors and their institutions and name the host city of the conference. - Last updated April 1, 2015