Date of Award:
Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)
Because of the new Utah Science with Engineering Education (SEEd) standards, which are based on the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS), Utah science teachers in K-12 schools are now being asked to incorporate engineering into their science classes. Many science teachers in the State of Utah do not have a background in engineering and have not received training in how to incorporate engineering into their classes. To help remedy this problem, six STEM teachers from the State of Utah, and one STEM teacher from Nevada, came to the campus of Utah State University in July 2019 to participate with a group of students in the GEAR UP Engineering Summer Camp. As a part of the camp, the teachers participated in engineering activities with the students and in engineering teaching workshops during the evenings of the camp. These workshops focused on the SEEd Standards, the Science and Engineering Practices outlined in those standards, and on one model of the Engineering Design Process. The teachers were given time during the evening workshops to create a series of lesson plans in which they would implement the Science and Engineering Practices (SEPs) with their own students. These workshops, along with the engineering activities, were intended to help the teachers to implement the SEEd Standards in their own classes.
At the end of the GEAR UP Engineering Camp, the participating teachers were interviewed regarding their experiences at the camp. During the semester following the camp, the teachers were observed teaching a part of the lesson that they had created during the workshops. A second interview was performed following the observed lesson that focused on what they had learned from the Engineering Camp experience that they had been able to implement in their classes.
The results of the first interview show that overall, the participating teachers had a good experience at the GEAR UP Engineering Camp and that they enjoyed the professional learning experience. The teachers did have some feedback in these interviews that will be implemented into the camp and the professional development workshops in the future. From the analysis of the observed lessons and the submitted lesson plans, it is clear that the participating teachers were able to incorporate engineering in their own STEM classes.
Barlow, Ryan F., "Transfer of Learning for K-12 STEM Teachers: From the GEAR UP Engineering Camp Professional Learning Experience to the Classroom" (2020). All Graduate Theses and Dissertations. 7978.
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