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FFF2.07 - Preparing the Next Generation of Material Scientists 
Date/Time:
April 22, 2014   4:30pm - 4:45pm
 
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The proposed presentation will focus on an outreach program that involves a partnership between a science and engineering university, a university research center focused on renewable energy materials, and local elementary and middle school teachers. This program has existed for approximately ten years, and each set of teachers have the option of participating for up to two years. During the academic year, a graduate student is assigned to work in the classroom with the participating teacher. Their role is to support the teacher and help develop discovery-based activities to build upon the knowledge gained in the summer workshop. This program is designed to engage teachers in science and mathematics and demonstrate the application of these subjects to engineering challenges, with a focus on renewable energy research. Participating K-8 teachers attend a two-week workshop each summer, during which university professors, researchers and graduate students present information on renewable energy materials and lead hands-on activities for teachers to implement in their classrooms. Fuel cells, water electrolysis, solar cells and the associated materials that advance these energy technologies are just a few of the topics addressed. These activities are developed with the assistance of graduate students who have participated in the program and who have provided hands-on support in K-8 classrooms in past years. Lessons are designed to address standards-based learning targets, making activities more useful to teachers and their classrooms. The participating school districts have large minority and economically disadvantaged populations, which falls in line with program goals to target at risk populations. The program also focuses on the promotion of female interest in science and engineering. The approach used in this curriculum is to incorporate mathematics, science and literacy into engineering lessons, in an effort to make these lessons easier for the teachers to utilize in their classrooms. Resources and training are provided for the teachers and graduate students that are involved in this program. A goal of this program is to engage the participating teachers with the importance of renewable energy materials so that they can be advocates in educating the next generation of scientists and engineers. In the proposed presentation, the results and perspectives from this multi-year collaboration will be presented.
 


 
 
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