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Engineering Education for a Global Technological Society
Washington University

Fellows develop teaching modules that center around their specific areas of engineering research. Through these modules, the fellows gain unique life skills that they would not otherwise receive through college coursework alone. They learn valuable skills ranging from communication and presentation proficiency ultimately providing a better understanding within their field of study. A perceived weakness among practicing engineers is their inability to convey engineering concepts to non-engineers. The GK-12 program provides an opportunity for improvement through creation of engineering teaching modules for non-engineers. By the end of the structural engineering module, middle school students are successfully analyzing the forces within their own bridge designs. The ability of these young children to comprehend advanced engineering concepts highlights the fellows’ improved ability to convey engineering concepts to non-engineers. Beyond teaching engineering principles, the fellows create their own activities and lessons. These teaching modules include the K-12 teacher’s lessons and goals for each semester providing an opportunity for developing K-12 pedagogic techniques. Fellows quickly gain skill in efficient project management. While creating activities to help the students learn what engineers do, fellows are researching the basic concepts and ideas in their field rewarding them with a better understanding of their major. The development of these basic concepts clearly re-establishes the fundamental principles and objectives within their own research. Education may be defined as the interaction between teachers and learners; GK-12 fellows enjoy the advantage of membership within both groups.

Project URL: http://www.seas.wustl.edu/gk12/

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