Both the College of Engineering at NC State University and the University of North Carolina at Charlotte (UNCC) will serve as host institutions. Durham and Charlotte-Mecklenburg County Public Schools will work together to recruit partner teachers for the RET experience. The colleges of Education at NC State and UNCC will help recruit pre-service teachers.
The idea for this teaming approach grew out of experience with the graduate students in a K-12 program sponsored by NSF, through which NC State and UNCC were both funded. Local industry, including SAS Institute, will serve as both partners and participants in the project.
The site will place teams in partner labs focused on one of four sub areas of the Grand Challenges for Engineering: sustainability (solar energy), health (biomechanics), security (computer network security), and joy of living (aerospace engineering). The teams will spend mid-June through July on site at each of the universities, concluding with an overall summit at NC State to which other RET sites will be invited to send their teachers.
Previous research on teaming for undergraduate engineering students, graduate students and teachers has shown dichotomous effects for each participant. In addition to the traditional products of an RET site, which include classroom activities and techniques linked to cutting edge research that can be taken to the K-12 classroom, this RET will also inform the body of knowledge concerning partnerships between K-12 schools and universities. The project research will enumerate the types and depth of effects on each of the six different constituents of the teams: K-12 teachers, pre-service teachers, community college faculty, undergraduate engineering students, graduate students in engineering and university faculty.
The project will have impact beyond its own reach in several ways. The information gathered from the research questions will be applicable to other RET sites around the nation. The end of the summer curriculum exchange conference will serve as a platform for the participants to share knowledge among themselves and with teachers from RET sites across the country. The design of both the project staff development and the curriculum exchange will include aspects of teaching underrepresented students through challenge-based learning, including students with disabilities as well as girls and underrepresented ethnicities.
- Create positive benefits for each participant (increased STEM efficacy for teachers, improved classroom technique for both teachers and faculty members, increased engineering efficacy for undergraduate engineering students and enhanced retention).
- Research the impact of participation in the RET on each participant as they return to their native environment.
- Discover elements of stratified team design that are most efficacious in meeting the above goals to inform the design of future RET programs.
1. How does the construct of the RET teams affect the “desired outcomes” for the participants?
|NC State/UNCC Faculty Member||Increased engagement with undergraduate engineering students in order to increase retention rate|
|Community College Faculty Member||Increased use of challenge-based learning related to engineering and knowledge about engineering career paths|
|Undergraduate Engineering Student||
|Undergraduate Education Student (Pre-Service Teacher)||
|High School Teacher (In-Service Teacher)||
2. How does the construct of the RET teams affect the quality of curriculum generated?
Engineering and education professionals will assess activities developed by the participants at the end of each summer. These activities will also be implemented in the classroom during the school year, and the teachers will complete a self-evaluation and reflection about the activities.
|Year||Dr. Kate Saul’s Lab
|Dr. Brendan O’Connor’s Lab
|Dr. Tiffany Barnes’ Lab
|Dr. Chris Vermillion’s Lab (UNCC)|
(4 Integrated Teams)
(3 Homogenous Teams +
1 Integrated Team)
|2018-19||Duplicate construct of the year yielding most efficacious to test reliability and repeatability|
|Team Member||Assessment Tool|
|NC State/UNCC Faculty Member||Existing survey instruments used by Women in Engineering program|
|Community College Faculty Member||MISO teacher attitude and self-efficacy assessment (T-STEM)|
|Undergraduate Engineering Student||
|Undergraduate Education Student
|High School Teacher
Schools and Labs
Engineering undergraduate students, education undergraduate students, K12 teachers and Community College faculty members are chosen from partnering programs to participate in the laboratory experience on both North Carolina State University and the University of North Carolina at Charlotte campuses. These partnering programs include:
- NC State College of Engineering
- NC State College of Education
- Durham Public Schools
- Durham Technical Community College
- The William States Lee College of Engineering at UNCC
- UNC-Charlotte College of Education
- Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools
- Isothermal Community College
You can find descriptions of the participating labs at the links below:
- Dr. Katherine Saul (Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering, NC State): Movement Biomechanics Laboratory
- Dr. Brendan O’Connor (Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering, NC State): O’Connor Research Group
- Dr. Tiffany Barnes (Computer Science, NC State): Game to Learn Lab
- Dr. Christopher Vermillion (Aerospace Engineering, UNCC): The Control and Optimization for Renewable Energy Lab (CORE)
The advisory board consists of members throughout the community with unique perspectives who help guide the program planning. Members include:
- Lisa Hibler, Assistant Director, Kenan Institute for Engineering/Technology
- Margaret Henderson, Director, Magnet Programs, Durham Public Schools
- Paola Sztajn, Department Head, Math Education, College of Education, NC State University
- Melissa Thibault, Vice Chancellor, Distance Education and Extended Programs, North Carolina School of Science and Math
- Larry Richards, Professor, Mechanical/Aerospace Engineering, University of Virginia
- Edward Summers, Manager Accessibility, SAS Institute
- Ben Fleishman, Student Programs Manager, Engineering World Health
- Ben Glass, CEO/CTO, Alteros Energies
- Gina Messere, Manager of Manufacturing Engineering, John Deere Corporation
- Rob Creighton, President, Windlift
- Paul Klenk, Director of Customer Insights, Research Square