Guest Post by Dot Moss, academic program director in the Department of Mathematical Sciences at Clemson University
When I was asked to facilitate a pathway for the 2014 Next Steps Institute focused on engineering and its role within STEM, I wanted to put emphasis on the idea of action. All certified engineering programs at the university level must have an engineering design cycle. This iterative process, which is similar to the Earth Force Process, asks participants to use critical thinking and problem-solving to create effective solutions.
When we work with K-12 schools, we encourage them to develop an engineering design cycle unique to the culture of their community. It is within this cycle that engineering comes alive in classrooms. Engineering connects 21st century best practices across all STEM disciplines. Creativity, critical thinking, communication, collaboration, continuous assessment, real-world connections, and use of tools and technology are all addressed in engineering design cycles.
The Engineering Real World Solutions to STEM Challenges pathway is based on Clemson University’s Driving SCIENCE project. This project was started by DuPont, Daytona International Speedway, and Clemson’s International Center for Automotive Research (CU-ICAR). With a focus on automotive engineering through motorsports, middle and high school teachers experience project-based activities and career connections. Resources are provided so educators can use the activities with students or for professional development with colleagues. In this fun and innovative professional development, participants will experience the fast-paced world of racing.
Join us at the 2014 Next Steps Institute to learn how to develop and incorporate engineering principles into STEM education for engaging, relevant, standards-based instruction.