Charles V. Schaefer, Jr. School of Engineering      
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  The Center for Innovation in Engineering and Science Education

Curriculum Development Programs

Harnessing online resources from scientific, government, and commercial databases, CIESE has partnered with a variety of organizations to create award-winning educational materials designed to involve students in problem-solving, critical thinking, and online telecollaboration with other students and subject-matter experts. Our projects use U.S. Geological Survey data to engage students in an inquiry-based module on plate tectonics; student-collected data on genetic traits; and a commercial database on ships at sea in a study of relative velocity, and a wide range of other Internet-based real world data, to connect classroom learning to the real world.

Current curriculum development projects currently underway include:

This NSF-funded research project under the ITEST program, employs an innovative student design challenge: building robots from LEGO and other parts that can perform a series of increasingly complex sophisticated tasks – underwater. The underwater environment presents unique challenges that require students to problem-solve using deepening levels of science understanding, the iterative design process, teamwork and communication, and information technology.

Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Air Quality Modeling
Funded by the Environmental Protection Agency's Office of Pollution Prevention and Toxics, CIESE developed an online module for high school students entitled Air Quality: Learning Science with Models, EPA's Internet Geographic Exposure Modeling System (IGEMS/ISC). This material promotes student participation in scientific inquiry and use of models for the prediction of potential exposure associated with the release of chemicals to air.

Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Particulates Matter
Particulates Matter (PM), will enhance awareness of current environmental health hazards posed by fine particle pollution through integration of the EPA’s new particulate real time data source. This curriculum involves the collection, recording and analysis of real time PM data to engage students in authentic “real world” scientific investigations into issues related to particulate matter pollution, building upon a previous EPA-sponsored project, Air Pollution, What’s the Solution. Unlike traditional textbook lessons, these inquiry-based science materials place student learning in the context of real events. As a result, teachers, students, parents and other educational stakeholders will learn about PM and its health effects. Through these materials, students will learn to think critically, and enhance problem solving and decision making skills.

Center for Ocean Science Education Excellence (COSEE)
Funded by the National Science Foundation, the Mid-Atlantic Center for Ocean Science Education Excellence (MA-COSEE) is a consortia of scientists and educators working together to advance ocean discovery and make known the vital role of the ocean in our lives. COSEE's goal is to integrate research and education programs to encourage lifelong learning experiences, reaching out especially to K-12 educators and students, coastal managers, families and under-served audiences. One specialized task of the MA-COSEE is to bring the real-time data generated from the coastal ocean observatories to user groups. As a partner in the MA-COSEE, CIESE will coordinate development of Internet-based curricula that will support the use of the real-time data by the public.

Connecticut Department of Environmental Protection (CTDEP) Clean School Bus Project
CIESE has been commissioned by the Connecticut Department of Environmental Protection to develop curriculum and professional development materials to accompany the clean school bus technology being employed by the state's school districts as part of the EPA's Clean School Bus initiative. Building on the success of the "Is Your Bus Exhausting?" air quality curriculum that CIESE created for Norwich, CT, CIESE is collaborating with Bridgeport teachers on the integration of the curriculum into their classrooms. The professional development will consist of a combination of face-to-face and Internet-based asynchronous sessions. CIESE will develop and oversee the sessions.

To see existing CIESE curriculum projects, go to:


Stevens Institute of Technology
Professional Development Programs