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A model to promote the study of engineering through a capstone course for pre service secondary science and mathematics teachers

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2 Author(s)
Robinson, M. ; Coll. of Educ., Nevada Univ., Reno, NV, USA ; Fadali, M.S.

The US is trying to maintain its competitive edge among industrial nations by training a sufficient number of engineers. However, the number of trained individuals graduating from US colleges does not meet our current and projected needs. In addition, the number of females and minority graduates with engineering degrees is unacceptably low and the attrition rate in engineering programs is unacceptably high. The causes include: (i) the inadequate preparation of our high school graduates, (ii) unfavorable attitudes toward engineering and other science based careers, (iii) the absence of continuity in the transition from high school to college, and (iv) teacher-centered teaching methods in engineering programs. Some additional preparation for secondary science and mathematics teachers as well as high school courses that are more friendly to engineering and technology would address the first three above perceived causes. The use of more student-directed instruction might address the fourth perceived cause. To this end, it is suggested that colleges of engineering and education collaborate to develop capstone courses for secondary science and mathematics pre-service and in-service teachers. To our knowledge, no model has been proposed to design capstone engineering courses that train pre-service and in-service secondary science and mathematics teachers in engineering principles, practice, design, and problem solving skills. The authors describe a new capstone course.

Published in:

Frontiers in Education Conference, 1998. FIE '98. 28th Annual  (Volume:3 )

Date of Conference:

4-7 Nov. 1998