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Society's Grand Challenges in Engineering as a context for middle school STEM instruction: Briefing on proposed project January 19 and 21, 2010 Investigators:

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Presentation on theme: "Society's Grand Challenges in Engineering as a context for middle school STEM instruction: Briefing on proposed project January 19 and 21, 2010 Investigators:"— Presentation transcript:

1 Society's Grand Challenges in Engineering as a context for middle school STEM instruction: Briefing on proposed project January 19 and 21, 2010 Investigators: Amy Wendt, Susan Hagness and Steven Cramer (Engineering) Kimberly Howard and Allen Phelps (Education)

2 2 NSF ITEST Program The National Science Foundation is seeking solutions to “help ensure the depth and breadth of the STEM workforce.”  ITEST: Innovative Technology Experiences for Students and Teachers  STEM: science, technology, engineering and math Program solicitation linkProgram solicitation NSF proposal deadline: early February Letters of support from participating schools needed by Feb. 1 Project duration: 3 years  our proposed dates: 9/1/2010-8/31/2013

3 3 UW ITEST proposal Project goal:  create interest in engineering among a larger and more diverse population of middle school students Strategy:  Introduce grand challenges in engineering (GCE) in math and science instruction  Create a school-based GCE community of teachers & counselors to:  Develop, implement and evaluate GCE instructional resources  Increase awareness of grand-challenge related careers that utilize math and science skills  Collect and use data to:  evaluate: classroom implementation of instructional materials changes in student perceptions about engineering and its relation to personal goals  improve/expand instructional resources

4 4 Motivation: Diversity in Engineering Source: American Society of Engineering Educators, 2008American Society of Engineering Educators Down from 19.5% in 2005 and 21.2% in 1999 Compared to ~ 50% in biological sciences

5 5 Diversity in Engineering

6 6 Women’s Experiences in College Engineering Project  Survey of ~25,000 undergraduate women in engineering programs at 53 institutions,  A top reason why women enter engineering:  attraction to the altruistic kind of work engineers do  Critical factor in retention:  exposing women early on to how engineering has led to improvements in society and the quality of people’s lives “Final Report of the Women’s Experiences in College Engineering (WECE) Project,” Goodman Research Group, Inc., Cambridge, MA, April 2002.

7 7 Grand Challenges in Engineering Sustainability Make solar power economical Provide energy from fusion Develop carbon sequestration methods Manage the nitrogen cycle Provide access to clean water Restore and improve urban infrastructure Vulnerability Prevent nuclear terror Secure cyberspace Health Advance health informatics Engineer better medicine Reverse-engineer the brain Joy of Living Enhance virtual reality Advance personalized learning Engineer the tools of scientific discovery

8 8 Background: New GCE course at UW InterEgr 102: Cross-disciplinary approach to first-year engineering education  Builds on NAE themes  Highlights opportunities to positively shape the world’s future Case studies format:  Modules prepared by both instructors and students  Based on existing literature – news articles, government reports and research journals  Wide range of presentation topics  Students:  Write written reports  Prepare/deliver Oral presentations Poster presentations

9 9 GCE at UW: course for 1 st year students Theme 1: Engineering challenges on a personal scale Diagnosis/treatment of disease, assistive technologies, rehab engineering, biometrics, … Theme 3: Engineering for developing communities Water, housing, health care, lighting, energy, information, … Theme 4: Engineering the megacity Pollution, transportation, energy, natural disasters, security, … Theme 5: Global engineering challenges Energy, terrorism, biodiversity, pandemics, climate change, … Theme 6: Engineering beyond planet Earth Space travel, inhabiting space, near-earth objects, extraterrestrial communication, … Theme 2: Engineering the Wisconsin Idea Energy, regional eco-systems, transportation, security, …

10 10 GCE at UW: example course content Topic: early detection/warning to prevent earthquake damage Seismometers commonly used to locate the epicenter after the quake has occurred How?  Exploit differences between P and S waves 1  Nondestructive P (primary) wave speed: 6-7 km/s  Destructive S (secondary) wave speed: 3-4 km/s Interactive illustrations on National Geographic web site:  Locate an earthquake – Lab 6 Let’s try it ourselves!

11 11 Snapshot from GCE case study Determining location of earthquake epicenter Seismometers commonly used to locate the epicenter after the quake has occurred Example: 3 stations record seismic activity  Where is the epicenter? P wave speed: 6 km/s S wave speed: 3 km/s A B C t p =0 t s =10 s t p =10 s t s =30 s t p =20 s t s =50 s 60 km

12 12 Snapshot from GCE case study Determining location of earthquake epicenter Seismometers commonly used to locate the epicenter after the quake has occurred Example: 3 stations record seismic activity  Where is the epicenter? A B C 60 km P wave speed: 6 km/s S wave speed: 3 km/s How far away?

13 13 Snapshot from GCE case study Determining location of earthquake epicenter Seismometers commonly used to locate the epicenter after the quake has occurred Example: 3 stations record seismic activity  Where is the epicenter? A B C 60 km P wave speed: 6 km/s S wave speed: 3 km/s 60 km

14 14 Snapshot from GCE case study Determining location of earthquake epicenter Seismometers commonly used to locate the epicenter after the quake has occurred Example: 3 stations record seismic activity  Where is the epicenter? A B C 60 km P wave speed: 6 km/s S wave speed: 3 km/s How far away?

15 15 Snapshot from GCE case study Determining location of earthquake epicenter Seismometers commonly used to locate the epicenter after the quake has occurred Example: 3 stations record seismic activity  Where is the epicenter? A B C 60 km P wave speed: 6 km/s S wave speed: 3 km/s 120 km

16 16 Snapshot from GCE case study Determining location of earthquake epicenter Seismometers commonly used to locate the epicenter after the quake has occurred Example: 3 stations record seismic activity  Where is the epicenter? A B C 60 km P wave speed: 6 km/s S wave speed: 3 km/s How far away?

17 17 Snapshot from GCE case study Determining location of earthquake epicenter Seismometers commonly used to locate the epicenter after the quake has occurred Example: 3 stations record seismic activity  Where is the epicenter? A B C 60 km P wave speed: 6 km/s S wave speed: 3 km/s 180 km

18 18 Snapshot from GCE case study Determining location of earthquake epicenter Seismometers commonly used to locate the epicenter after the quake has occurred Example: 3 stations record seismic activity  Where is the epicenter? A B C 60 km epicenter P wave speed: 6 km/s S wave speed: 3 km/s

19 19 Alignment with instructional standards This instructional task (determining the location of the earthquake epicenter) directly aligns with “Mathematical Practice” standards that are being proposed for the State Common Core Standards in math. See: Quoting the proposed Mathematics Practice standard:  Proficient students expect mathematics to make sense. They take an active stance in solving mathematical problems. When faced with a non- routine problem, they have the courage to plunge in and try something, and they have the procedural and conceptual tools to carry through. They are experimenters and inventors, and can adapt known strategies to new problems. They think strategically. More specifically, this task requires or could be developed in ways that students are required to demonstrate the following standards:  Construct viable arguments  Make sense of complex problems  Look for and make use of structure

20 20 Impact of GCE course at UW Higher % female representation than other UW “Introduction to Engineering” courses UW GCE course Other engineering intro. courses

21 Society’s Grand Challenges in Engineering as a Context for Middle School Instruction in STEM Proposal in preparation for submission to the NSF ITEST program

22 22 UW team members Amy Wendt, Electrical and Computer Engineering Susan Hagness, Electrical and Computer Engineering Steven Cramer, Civil and Environmental Engineering Kimberly Howard, Counseling Psychology Allen Phelps, Education Leadership

23 23 UW ITEST proposal Project goal:  create interest in engineering among a larger and more diverse population of middle school students Strategy:  Introduce grand challenges in engineering (GCE) in math and science instruction  Create a school-based GCE community of teachers & counselors to:  Develop, implement and evaluate GCE instructional resources  Increase awareness of grand-challenge related careers that utilize math and science skills  Collect and use data to:  evaluate: classroom implementation of instructional materials changes in teacher/student perceptions about engineering, and its relation to student personal goals  improve/expand instructional resources

24 24 Current status

25 25 Goal: GCE awareness through multiple channels Heighten awareness of GCE throughout the school:  Teachers  Counselors  Peers Shape students’ sense that STEM careers are possible & interesting for them  Messages guided by Social Cognitive Career Theory (SCCT):  Self efficacy: belief that one possesses the capability to perform STEM-related activities  Outcomes expectations: engaging in STEM-related activities advances one’s personal goals

26 26 Social Cognitive Career Theory

27 27 Innovation and Research Network

28 28 GCE Implementation: instructional pilot Pilot GCE module will provide alternative, context-rich approaches to teaching core content GCE module duration: 1-3 weeks GCE module will include instructional materials that:  Address state/regional standards for the topic  GCE material will complement instructional content to create a “story line” for the content Before/after student questionnaire on perceptions about engineering

29 29 Pilot GCE module development UW participants will research GCE topics for inclusion in pilot module UW and Madison area school participants will develop instructional activities to complement GCE material – academic year Summer Institute 2011:  All participants gather on UW-Madison campus for one week  UW participants will provide overviews of:  Grand Challenges in Engineering  Social Cognitive Career Theory  GCE middle school pilot module status  All will discuss, refine, modify and improve pilot module  Middle school educators will finalize module curriculum and implementation plan for their schools

30 30 Timeline Academic yearFall SemesterSpring SemesterSummer Assemble GCE content; work with local schools on instructional content Development continues Summer Institute; Finalize pilot module(s) Implement pilot; Evaluate; Develop additional module(s) Implementation, development and evaluation continue Summer Institute; Evaluation and module revision/development Implement modules; Evaluate Implementation and evaluation continue Evaluation completed; Final report

31 31 How to participate? Commit a team of 3-5 educators from your school – participation from summer 2011 to the end of the academic year Local schools may also participate in GCE module development during the academic year Travel expenses – stipend and travel expenses provided for Summer Institute participation We request letters of commitment to be included in our proposal to NSF  Use school letterhead  Submit to Prof. Amy Wendt by Monday, Feb. 1  pdf copy to  Or fax to

32 32 Summary (& input for letter of commitment) UW-Madison proposal entitled “Society’s Grand Challenges in Engineering as a Context for Middle School Instruction in STEM” To be submitted to NSF ITEST program – 3 year project Goal:  attract and retain a more diverse pool of students, particularly women, into the technology workforce Motivation:  studies showing an attraction among female students to the kind of altruistic work engineers do Strategy:  develop curriculum-specific grand challenges instructional modules appropriate for middle school  teacher/counselor training to support classroom use of these materials  Evaluate changes in teacher/student perceptions about engineering, and its relation to student personal goals Instructional materials  will be modeled after the "Grand Challenges" curriculum currently in use at the UW Madison College of Engineering  school teams (3-5 participants/school) will contribute to module development at working Summer Institutes at UW-Madison in 2011 and 2012  will be piloted in schools during and school years


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