CTE

Career & Technical Education

Engineers of the Future Grant Project Descriptions

Buffalo State College
Clarkson University
Rochester Institute of Technology
Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute
Polytechnic University WISE
Polytechnic Univeristy SUMMIT

Buffalo State College

Report

The objective of this initiative was to provide teachers with curricular content and activities that enable engineering relevant learning in middle school and high school classrooms at a low to moderate cost. A unique characteristic of this proposal was founded on the delivery of engineering content and experiences via the application of design principles and the design process.

The four themes with included courses incorporated into this initiative were:

  • Design, Innovation, Engineering and Technology
  • Engineering and Proto typing
  • Biotechnology and Bioengineering
  • Digital Electronics and Control Systems

Paticipant Data for Buffalo State

  • # of Teachers - 359
  • Male - 307
  • Female - 52
  • % Female - 14.48

Clarkson University

Report

The objective of this initiative was to provide comprehensive FIRST Tech Challenge (FTC) training for ten participating middle school teachers. The FIRST Tech Challenge (FTC) is an international, mid-level robotics competition for students that offer the challenge of a robotics competition with an affordable robotics kit of parts. The workshop consists of a series of mini-projects and culminates with teachers engaging in a design challenge, just as the FTC students do. Participants also expected to serve as coaches for FTC teams in their schools during the fall 2007 semester with the workshop instructors and undergraduate students from Clarkson University's FIRST Robotics team serving as team mentors. The proposed pilot program offers a dynamic, innovative way to expose middle school students to STEM concepts through "hands-on" robotic investigations.

*FIRST (For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology) is a Manchester, NH based not-for-profit public charity that designs accessible, innovative programs that motivate young people to pursue education and career opportunities in STEM fields, while building self-confidence, knowledge, and life skills.

Activities

Participant Data for Clarkson University

  • # of Teachers - 12
  • Male - 7
  • Female - 5
  • % Female - 41.67

RIT

Report

Rochester Institute of Technology (RIT) received a “2007 Summer Training for Teachers in Engineers of the Future Program” grant from the New York State Education Department to underwrite Project Lead The Way (PLTW) summer training program. Attendees included 237 teachers from 102 partnering school districts across New York State.

PLTW is a national pre-engineering program with curriculum that, through dynamic partnerships with the nation’s schools, offers a hands-on, project-based approach to learning that better prepares an increasing and more diverse group of students to be successful in science, engineering, and engineering technology.

The goals of the summer training session were to: enable teachers to implement rigorous pre-engineering curricula in the middle and high school levels, increase teachers’ subject matter knowledge, and assist teachers in introducing engineer-related career paths to students.

Participating teachers attended either a 10-day Core Training or an 8-day Advanced Training. The Core Training provided the full course-specific curriculum for teachers new to PLTW while the Advanced Training courses were designed for teachers who have previously taken the Core Training and would like to expand their content knowledge as well as receive curriculum and software updates.

In addition to the curriculum training, participants had opportunities to enhance their subject matter knowledge and exposure to real-world engineering-related topics through an “Engineers of the Future” speaker series, industry visits, and presentations by engineering-related education advocates.

The overall effectiveness of the summer training was assessed by a comprehensive evaluation plan that utilized summative, formative and diagnostic assessment techniques. These techniques demonstrated with a high degree of certainty that the goals of the summer training were met.

Participant Data for RIT

  • # of Teachers - 228
  • Male - 200
  • Female - 28
  • % Female - 12.28

RPI

Report

This initiative brought together twenty mathematics, science and technology education teachers from five school districts to work with six research engineers, scientists, and undergraduate and graduate engineering majors. The focus on the work was on exposing the participants to engineering concepts through hands-on activities, and to discuss with them ways to integrate the disciplines into a coherent classroom experience. Fieldtrips to engineering facilitates on and off campus were provided, and participants worked in teams to produce samples of integrated MST curricula that might be used in their middle school classrooms.

The project involved a group of 20 grade 6-8 Capital District teachers of mathematics, science and technology education, coming from five schools districts. Our goals for these MST teachers were:

  • To experience “real” engineering concepts and content, and to understand how useful products are engineered, designed and manufactured;
  • To make MST teachers more aware of the interaction between their areas of expertise; and
  • To teach them how an interesting engineering context can be used to drive the teaching of all of these subjects

The Engineers of the Future Summer Institute was successful in meeting its major goals. Project staff was able to meet the goals of providing sixty hours of professional development to 20 middle school math, science, and technology teachers, as well as teaching participants relevant engineering concepts and activities that could be transferred directly to the classroom. Participants found the professional development to be informative and relevant, and encouraged similar endeavors in the future.

Participant Data for RPI

  • # of Teachers - 20
  • Male - 12
  • Female - 8
  • % Female - 40

Polytechnic University

Report: Project WISE—Summer Workshop in Instrumentation, Sensors and Engineering

Twenty teachers from Lower Hudson, Long Island and New York City middle/intermediate and senior high schools participated in an intensive two-week residential summer institute. They were introduced to the use of instrumentation and sensors as vital tools to be used in engineering and science. Through their exposure to technology-rich, multi-disciplinary learning experiences, teachers engaged in hands-on knowledge acquisition which will assist them to provide their students with enriched learning opportunities and to spur them to higher achievement in science and mathematics. By the end of the two weeks they had been introduced to the following engineering and STEM principles and activities:

  • scientific and mathematical foundations of sensor technology, conductivity probes, heart rate monitors, motion detectors, and feedback control
  • integration of circuits, sensors, actuators, and control in practical contexts
  • application of computer hardware and software for measurement and control, including low-cost microcontrollers
  • and hands-on engineering design activities, in which they produced a product within a specific time period, and offered a presentation to class members and others.

Upon successfully completing the WISE program, teachers are able to:

  • provide their students with a solid foundation in science and mathematics that prepares them to study in STEM disciplines at the college level
  • prepare their students to conduct research and participate in various science competitions
  • introduce their students to engineering as an area for career preparation
  • and become science/technology ambassadors in their schools.

Participants learned to enable their students to satisfy Standard 5 of the New York State Learning Standards in Mathematics, Science and Technology: “…to apply technical knowledge and skills to design, construct, use, and evaluate products and systems.”

Participant Data for Polytechnic University (Project WISE)

  • # of Teachers - 20
  • Male - 12
  • Female - 8
  • % Female - 40

Polytechnic University

Report: Project SUMMIT—The SUMmer Mechatronics Institute for Teachers

Twenty New York City middle/intermediate and senior high school teachers participated in a four-week summer institute in which they were introduced to mechatronics, a multi-disciplinary field of study, which includes mechanical engineering, mathematics, science and computer engineering. Teachers became students as they were exposed to technologies in the robotics industry. By the end of the four weeks they had been introduced to the following engineering and STEM principles and activities:

  • scientific and mathematical foundations of circuit theory, sensors, actuators, and feedback control
  • integration of circuits, sensors, actuators, and control in practical contexts
  • application of computer hardware and software for measurement and control, including low-cost microcontrollers
  • and hands-on engineering design activities, in which they produced a product within a specific time period, and offered a presentation to class members and others.

Upon successfully completing the SUMMIT program, teachers were able to:

  • Provide their students with a solid foundation in science and mathematics that prepares them to study in STEM disciplines at the college level
  • Prepare their students to conduct research and participate in science and robotics competitions
  • Introduce their students to engineering as an area for career preparation
  • and become science/technology ambassadors in their schools.

These teachers have already started to develop new curricula and curriculum experiences, prepare and submit funding proposals to purchase equipment and enhance their students’ learning experiences, change their teaching methodology to expand hands-on classroom activities, organize robotics clubs, and develop enrichment activities to enable their students to enter scientific “competitions.”

Participant Data for Polytechnic University (Project SUMMIT)

  • # of Teachers - 20
  • Male - 11
  • Female - 9
  • % Female - 45

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Last Updated: March 17, 2011