Engineering Education: High School Physics

Engineering Education: High School Physics

This course will afford pre-service teachers the opportunity to learn about the exciting world of engineering through hands-on investigation and link to their future classrooms through lesson development. By the end of the course, each participant should be able to give a sophisticated definition of engineering, give examples of how to apply physics content knowledge to engineering applications, and identify various ways to infuse engineering into the standard physics high school curriculum. 

The course will include: (1) Research Shadow, (2) Hands-on Projects, (3) Literature Review, and (4) Project/Lesson Development. Each of the components is described below.

Research Shadow: The research component provides an opportunity for participants to shadow graduate engineering students. Students will learn about various engineering research projects by visiting labs, observing experiments, and discussing topics with hosting graduate students. The Shadow Days will be on the first three Wednesdays of the course. At the conclusion of each Shadow Day, students must email a one-paragraph reflection on the experience by midnight. Submit reflection as text within the body of the email and do not attach a separate document. [10% of grade]

Hands-On Projects: Weekly, students will engage in hands-on experiments that reflect the industrious side of engineering. For example, participants will construct roller coasters out of foam tubing and tape. All hands-on projects will illustrate how engineers use physics concepts to design our built world. Students will be required to develop lesson plans based on select hands-on projects. Lesson plans should include a list of required materials, a teacher’s guide, hand-outs, and identification of National/State Science Standards. Lessons must be submitted both (1) in class as hardcopy and (2) electronically prior to the start of class on identified due date. Documents must be in .doc or .pdf format. Please click here for resulting lesson plans.

Literature Review: Select articles from peer-reviewed journals and conference proceedings will introduce students to engineering education. Topics will relate to the P-12 classroom and focus on professional development and student learning. All students must read each assigned article and be prepared to engage in meaningful discussion. Each student will be responsible for facilitating class discussion on a select article, which includes composing a concise summary and preparing a list of 5 to 10 discussion questions for the class. Summaries must be submitted electronically as a .doc or .pdf file prior to the start of class.

Final Project/Lesson Design: In linking practice to the classroom, time and monetary resources will be allocated to the development of pre-college classroom lessons based on an original hands-on project. Students will design an original hands-on project that illustrates physics principles and demonstrates engineering. The lesson plan based on the hands-on project should include a list of required materials, a teacher’s guide, hand-outs, and identification of National/State Science and Technology Standards. Once participants are ready to pilot their lesson, they will implement the lesson with a group of students and in-service teachers enrolled in summer pre-college engineering programs offered by SoE.  Based on feedback, participants will revise their lessons. The final lessons will be posted on-line for easy access and dissemination. Please click here to view the class' final projects.