1570 Views
  1. Jim Dorward
  2. Presenter’s NSFRESOURCECENTERS
  3. Utah State University
  1. Kurt Becker
  2. Professor
  3. Presenter’s NSFRESOURCECENTERS
  4. Utah State University
  1. Murad Mahmoud
  2. Presenter’s NSFRESOURCECENTERS
  3. Utah State University
  1. Todd Newman
  2. Video Producer
  3. Presenter’s NSFRESOURCECENTERS
  4. Utah State University

STARS! GEAR UP Partnership

P334A150032

2018 (see original presentation & discussion)

Grades 6-8, Grades 9-12

This partnership between faculty in Engineering, Natural Resources, and Education at Utah State University (USU) developed and implemented two, one-week summer water engineering camps.  Students were from schools participating in the USU STARS! GEAR UP program funded by the U.S. Department of Education (P334A150032).  The purpose of the camp was to increase student understanding of relationships between water engineering and the environment, and to provide exposure to college and career opportunities in STEM areas.  Students followed water from natural springs in a nearby canyon, through its course, to effluent from a waste-water treatment facility.  Research activities included sampling, data collection, analysis, interpretation, and reporting. 

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Original Discussion from the 2018 STEM for All Video Showcase
  • Icon for: Jim Dorward

    Jim Dorward

    Lead Presenter
    May 13, 2018 | 05:31 p.m.

    This second water engineering camp provided students and their teachers with knowledge and skills to subsequently investigate and present findings on water related questions in their local areas.  What strategies do you use for motivating students to investigate questions of ecology?

  • Icon for: Anushree Bopardikar

    Anushree Bopardikar

    Facilitator
    May 14, 2018 | 05:14 p.m.

    Thank you for sharing your work. It's interesting to hear students' perspectives on how the summer camp learning environment helped them learn about water engineering, and on their interests in STEM fields. I noticed the project abstract mentions that one intended outcome of this work is to increase students' understanding of relationships between water engineering and environment, and you have also commented on how the second camp provided students and teachers with certain skills. Can you say more about how your project has measured/is measuring these outcomes?

  • Icon for: Kurt Becker

    Kurt Becker

    Co-Presenter
    May 21, 2018 | 11:04 a.m.

    Thank you for your question Anushree. Unfortunately, we did not measured outcomes of skills delivered during the camp. The focus of the survey instruments, and daily journals that the students completed, was to gauge their change in interest in STEM, as well as the factors that influence that interest. Measuring students' understanding of the relationship between water engineering and the environment is something that we may want to measure in future camps. 

  • Icon for: Stephen Uzzo

    Stephen Uzzo

    Facilitator
    May 15, 2018 | 08:31 a.m.

    Thanks for putting together the video clip of your program for the Showcase. Well produced and engaging! While there was a good amount of content on water testing, it was not clear from the presentation what aspects of water engineering (such as treatment and mitigation, hydraulics and hydrodynamics, engineering and design, etc.) were part of the program.

    As far as your question, We try to bring systems thinking to young people through gesture-based and immersive, socio-environmental experiences. For example: https://nysci.org/home/exhibits/connected-worlds/

     

  • Icon for: Kurt Becker

    Kurt Becker

    Co-Presenter
    May 21, 2018 | 11:05 a.m.

    Thank you for the comment Stephen. In response to your question regarding which aspects of water engineering were part of the program, we have added more information about the program.

    The camp had a duration of five days, with each day engaging students in environmental engineering around the theme of "water". The first day gave students general information about the water cycle, and the amount of usable water we have. During the second day, students spent time on a local river, collecting water samples, and measuring water properties. The third day included storm water impacts. The fourth day was about water treatment. On the final day, students presented their work through poster sessions and presentations. Additionally, throughout the week, students were taught about the engineering design process, and were expected to think like scientists and engineers, using hands-on activities. 

    We have included a link that shows the full program description, with the activities and learning outcomes for each day.

    Please take a look if you would like a more detail.

    Link:  https://drive.google.com/file/d/1LBVjTOqGYG5tPTKeshqOLNHMjbQ6IJYY/view?usp=sharing

     

  • Icon for: Tiffany Wilson

    Tiffany Wilson

    May 15, 2018 | 11:21 a.m.

    Hi Jim and others,

    Your program sounds similar to our SMART program at UMaine. We have integrated engineering by having the students and teachers design and build water quality sensors. We also provide 3D printers and students have been quite innovative in designing and printing devices to aid in their water research projects. We still would like to provide more engineering design opportunities that link water quality and water management. I like the filtration activity that you do, and it sounds like it is available through EWB resources.

    We motivate our students to investigate water ecology/quality by first showing them how to measure water quality parameters, and asking them to develop water research projects that are relevant to their community.  

  • Icon for: Jim Dorward

    Jim Dorward

    Lead Presenter
    May 15, 2018 | 02:52 p.m.

    Thanks Tiffany - we will definitely check out your SMART program!

  • Icon for: Lisa Miller

    Lisa Miller

    Facilitator
    May 15, 2018 | 08:34 p.m.

    Thank you for sharing your project.  It's nice hearing the student voices in the video and seeing the students engaged in the activities.  I'm curious if you have plans to scale the project up to include more students and/or additional types of engineering.

  • Icon for: Jim Dorward

    Jim Dorward

    Lead Presenter
    May 16, 2018 | 03:08 p.m.

    Thanks LIsa!  Our plans for this summer include expanding the number of students to 60, and the number of teachers involved in the related professional development experience to 12.  At first, our university faculty colleagues were a bit skeptical about having more middle school students to manage, but they were willing to give it a try.  We'll see...

  • Icon for: Bess Caplan

    Bess Caplan

    Informal Educator
    May 18, 2018 | 03:24 p.m.

    What a great program.  Can you say more about how you advertise for and recruit your students and teachers?  What incentive do the teachers have to participate in your program?  Is there a cost for the students to participate?

  • Icon for: Jim Dorward

    Jim Dorward

    Lead Presenter
    May 21, 2018 | 12:18 p.m.

    Hi Bess, thanks for your interest and questions.  We have 11 schools participating in our GEAR UP program with a site coordinator at each school.  These site coordinators use flyers and recommendations from science teachers to select student participants.  We recruit science and/or mathematics teachers to participate in the professional development.  In addition to having daily PD during the camp, the teachers attend a mid-year, day-long seminar.  The teachers receive a $1000 stipend and an equipment kit to do similar investigations during the school year.  The project covers all expenses for the students. 

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