Foundations: Integrating Evidence-Based Teaching and Learning Practices into the Core Engineering Curriculum (2015 – 2020)
This $2.8M National Science Foundation-sponsored Improving Undergraduate STEM Education (IUSE) program is designed to transform the education practices in the core courses in mathematics, science, and engineering taken by all engineering students in their first two years at Stevens Institute of Technology. Foundations project provides three years of support to enable the faculty who teach the critical early core courses to understand and adopt evidence-based teaching practices, iteratively redesign their course and assess the impact of those changes, and target deep and transferable learning within and across disciplinary domains. Strategies to support faculty change include ongoing discussions of principles of teaching and learning and discipline-based education research; trained peer assistants to facilitate active learning pedagogies in lectures and recitations; midterm course evaluations as formative feedback; and advocacy with colleagues internally and externally to catalyze diffusion beyond these early courses.
With support from the National Science Foundation, Arts and Technology faculty at Stevens are collaborating with science and engineering educators at CIESE to develop and pilot a STEM-rich multimedia production course for high school students. A central goal of the project is to increase the interest and participation of girls and groups historically underrepresented in STEM learning and careers. The course introduces students to the fundamentals of multimedia and video production through hands-on experiences, collaboration and creative thinking with particular emphasis on the engineering design process, relevant science content knowledge, and documentation of design decisions and supporting rationale in a design log. During the 9-week course, students work in teams to reach creative decisions about a storyline, audio components, animation/visual components and production strategies necessary to produce a 5-minute animated video. The project advantages the near universal appeal and interest of students in music, video and technology to promote an understanding of engineering design and relevant physics concepts in the context of multimedia production, and appreciation of the fundamental role of STEM in popular culture.
NJ RAISE is a NJ Department of Education-sponsored Mathematics and Science Partnership program to prepare K-8 teacher leaders from Bayonne, Elizabeth, Union City and Weehawken school districts to serve as Science Ambassadors, helping to improve science teaching and learning within their communities. The two-year program is designed to ensure that the Ambassadors receive intensive professional development and mentoring on the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS) and the Educators Evaluating the Quality of Instructional Products (EQuIP) rubric such that they can facilitate their use and understanding by other teachers in their schools and districts. Ambassadors help facilitate professional learning community (PLC) meetings in their schools and serve as resource in their communities to provide NGSS training and assistance to other teachers.
PISA2: Partnership to Improve Student Achievement in Physical Science: Integrating STEM Approaches (2010–2018)
PISA2, an $11.5M National Science Foundation-sponsored Mathematics and Science Partnership program, engages grades 3-8 teachers from 14 New Jersey school districts to enhance their content and pedagogical content knowledge and practice in science and engineering. Participants enroll in either a series of five graduate-level science courses or in a series of one-week summer institutes, each organized around a different core science idea. Professional development activities are led by Stevens disciplinary faculty and CIESE science and engineering teaching experts. In addition, all teachers participate in school year, full-day workshops and are provided one-on-one, in-class support. Professional development foci include: model making, explanation and evidence and engineering integration. Project research is investigating the extent and nature of change in teacher knowledge and practice, as well as impact on students’ science, engineering knowledge, critical thinking and creativity.
Project Infuse: An Examination of Science Teachers’ Conceptual Learning through Concept-Based Engineering Professional Development (2011–2018)
A partnership involving five universities and funded by the National Science Foundation, the goals of this project are to study how high school science teachers in different disciplines learn engineering concepts, how they introduce those concepts in the classroom, and to develop a set of recommendations to guide teachers in infusing curricula with engineering concepts and activities. This 5-year, $3 million National Science Foundation, Discovery Research K-12 project involves a two-year professional development and implementation commitment with two cohorts of teachers learning engineering concepts and infusing curriculum materials in biology and physics with the targeted concepts and design activities. Project partners include Black Hills State University, Purdue University, University of Massachusetts at Boston, and University of Maryland, Baltimore County.
STEAM: Integrating Art into STEM through Engineering Design (2011–2019)
This teacher professional development program funded by the Geraldine R. Dodge Foundation infuses art into science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) curricula by bringing together art and science or technology teachers to explore connections and develop lessons for classroom use. The STEAM program uses hands-on engineering design activities to engage students in creative and innovative pursuits — both of technological concepts and applications as well as in artistry of product design.
Boys and Girls Clubs in NJ Engineering Professional Development Program (2017–2019)
Sponsored by the PNC Foundation, this professional development program focuses on preparing and supporting educators at Boys and Girls Clubs in NJ to implement research-based, high quality STEM curricula with youth in out-of-school time environments. A primary goal is to engage youth in hands-on engineering activities in an exciting environment that expand their understanding of the variety of engineering careers. Workshops have included in-depth instruction and preparation to implement the WaterBotics underwater robotics curriculum at clubs’ summer camps and recognized engineering design curricula developed by the Museum of Science, Boston, to be implemented in after-school settings.
Energy Abounds! Middle School Summer Academy (2018–2021)
With support from the PSEG Foundation, Stevens Institute of Technology conducts week-long summer day camps for 80 middle school aged youth from underserved communities each summer. in the summer of 2018, youth from Hoboken and Union City worked in teams to engineer innovative solutions to harness renewable natural resources. Held on the Stevens campus, students met Stevens’ students and professors and toured the facilities to get a better understanding of the college experience.
WaterBotics® STEM Educators Institutes (2013–2017)
This series of professional development institutes prepares classroom teachers and out-of-school STEM educators to implement WaterBotics with youth in their classrooms and out-of-school programs thus expanding the reach of this research-based program. The program is designed to increase the number of youth—particularly girls, minorities, and those in low socioeconomic status areas—with the knowledge and skills necessary to pursue STEM study and careers. WaterBotics engages youth in exciting, hands-on, innovative and novel technologies that improve their knowledge of and interest in pursuing science and engineering careers. Lockheed Martin sponsored NJ educator institutes from 2013-15, Walmart sponsored an institute for NJ Boys and Girls Clubs staff in 2015, PNC Foundation and PSEG Foundation sponsored institutes in 2017.