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A novel partnership of a school and a university: using the work of university students to enhance science teaching and to foster interest to technology in K-12 schools

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3 Author(s)
Petri Mahonen ; RWTH Aachen University, Department of Wireless Networks, Germany ; Elena Meshkova ; Janne Riihijarvi

We report on a novel partnership program with elementary schools aiming to enhance science teaching using wireless sensor network (WSN) technologies while at the same time enriching the university studentspsila curriculum in electrical engineering. The program is designed to provide simulated real-life experience on WSN product design. In collaboration with school teachers we have decided to apply WSNs, tiny measurement devices connected wirelessly to Internet, to create new kinds of demonstration and laboratory equipment to make the teaching more interesting. The design work is primarily done by third and fourth year university students as part of their project and laboratory course work. One of the key paradigms in this project is to work, in part, with customer-supplier model. The schools with their teachers and pupils are customers, and the university students produce sort of products for them with the agreed specifications and time-lines. The additional aim of the program is to make pupils interested in engineering education, and also to provide them a glimpse of new kinds of embedded and wireless communications technologies. We report here the early experiences and encouraging results from this program that is trying to combine K-12 science outreach program with the university curriculum development.

Published in:

2008 38th Annual Frontiers in Education Conference

Date of Conference:

22-25 Oct. 2008