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  1. Julie Robinson
  2. https://und.edu/directory/julie.robinson
  3. Assistant Professor
  4. Presenter’s NSFRESOURCECENTERS
  5. University of North Dakota
  1. Frank Bowman
  2. Associate Professor & Chair
  3. Presenter’s NSFRESOURCECENTERS
  4. University of North Dakota
  1. Bethany Klemetsrud
  2. https://und.edu/directory/bethany.klemetsrud
  3. Assistant Professor
  4. Presenter’s NSFRESOURCECENTERS
  5. University of North Dakota
  1. Erin Lacina
  2. http://www.nesc.k12.nd.us/about-us/nesc-staff/
  3. Director of Professional Learning & Operations
  4. Presenter’s NSFRESOURCECENTERS
  5. Northeast Education Services Cooperative

Project ExCEED

NSF Awards: 2010169

2021 (see original presentation & discussion)

Grades K-6, Grades 6-8

Effectively teaching engineering has implications beyond meeting science standards. Encouraging students to be creative thinkers and innovative problem-solvers can benefit society across cultures and contexts but requires teachers that are trained and supported to deliver effective and relevant engineering instruction. This can be challenging for schools in rural and Native American settings as resources and support may be limited, and curriculum may be presented from a Western framework that does not incorporate the cultural knowledge, values, and beliefs embedded in a community. Effective engineering education can benefit tribal communities by building knowledge and capacity among student members. To facilitate these shifts in teaching practice and teacher self-efficacy, professional development must be designed to meet the unique needs of the populations showing the most dramatic under-representation, thus increasing access, resources, and collaboration for teachers in rural, lower-socio-economic, and Native American-serving schools. This project addresses the current and critical need for improved teacher training in effectively teaching engineering through an on-going, collaborative professional development program for upper elementary and middle school teachers in North Dakota, focusing on rural and Native schools surrounding and within the Spirit Lake and Turtle Mountain Nations. Over the course of a two-year cycle, teachers progress from learners to mentors as they become proficient in designing and implementing engineering design tasks in their classrooms aligned to their existing curriculum and authentic community interests. 

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Discussion from the 2021 STEM For All Video Showcase (19 posts)
  • Icon for: Julie Robinson

    Julie Robinson

    Lead Presenter
    Assistant Professor
    May 10, 2021 | 06:12 p.m.

    Welcome to Project ExCEED, a joint research project between the University of North Dakota's College of Education and College of Engineering and Mines.  In this video, we will share with you the background and goals of our project as we explore strategies for supporting elementary and middle school teachers in integrating culturally-relevant engineering tasks into their classrooms that are connected to their communities' authentic needs and interests. Our project includes teachers from primarily rural and Native-serving schools, and we aim to integrate professional development about engineering pedagogy with Indigenous STEM knowledge and ways of knowing to increase teachers' self-efficacy with implementing tasks that are relevant, meaningful, and accessible to all learners. 

    We have just launched our project this spring and will begin our first professional development sessions for teachers this June. We are excited to begin this important work and to hear from you! We believe engineering is for everyone, and our hope is that our project will inspire teachers to integrate engineering tasks across their curriculum and for students to see applications of engineering in relevant aspects of their lives. Please reach out with questions, comments, or feedback! 

     

     
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    Kimberly Elliott
  • Icon for: Heidi Carlone

    Heidi Carlone

    Facilitator
    Distinguished Professor
    May 12, 2021 | 12:18 p.m.

    I'm super intrigued by this project and its potential to create youths' and teachers' meaningful engagement in engineering in ways that draws on community's strengths and design challenges important to Native American and rural communities. Water is a lovely way to bound the project. Will your research primarily involve questions about teachers' learning or will you also consider the ways youth learn and engage with the engineering design tasks? What kinds of research questions frame the project work? I'll be interested to see how this project progresses. Thank you for sharing! Good luck with the work!

     

     
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    Kimberly Elliott
  • Icon for: Julie Robinson

    Julie Robinson

    Lead Presenter
    Assistant Professor
    May 12, 2021 | 12:28 p.m.

    Thank you so much for your comment, Heidi! At this point, our research questions focus on teachers' self-efficacy and changes to their integration of culturally relevant engineering instruction, but we absolutely are interested in how this approach impacts students' engagement. We hope that exploring student perceptions will be a part of future iterations of our project!  

     
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    Discussion is closed. Upvoting is no longer available

    Heidi Carlone
    Brigitta Rongstad
    Kimberly Elliott
  • Icon for: Bethany Klemetsrud

    Bethany Klemetsrud

    Co-Presenter
    Assistant Professor
    May 12, 2021 | 12:56 p.m.

    Hello everyone, thank you again for taking the time to support and engage with Project ExCEED we have a couple of questions that we would welcome a discussion on as we prepare for our first professional development with teachers. 

    For fellow researchers, what cultural relevancy framework has worked best for you when working with middle school teachers? 

    For our teachers and researchers what have you discovered as best practices for situating community issues and problem based learning within the classroom? 

     

     

  • Icon for: Brian Drayton

    Brian Drayton

    Co-Director
    May 12, 2021 | 01:15 p.m.

    Hi, a very interesting project.  I like its local grounding.  What issues do your teachers encounter with finding time/room for project work in the school schedules?  What negotiations with school leadership have been necessary to allow teacheres to incorporate their learning into their practice?

     

     
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    Discussion is closed. Upvoting is no longer available

    Kimberly Elliott
  • Icon for: Julie Robinson

    Julie Robinson

    Lead Presenter
    Assistant Professor
    May 12, 2021 | 02:11 p.m.

    Thank you so much, Brian! We really appreciate your feedback, and what great questions. We started by asking a group of principals what their vision was for engineering and STEM in their schools. They provided us with such thoughtful and reflective considerations that discussed both their goals and needs for successful implementation within their communities. Then, we really designed much of our project from there, so we had the support and collaboration with the administration from the start. We wanted to integrate throughout our project's development, even in writing the proposal, a community asset-based approach. An important goal of our project is for teachers to embed engineering into their existing curriculum, so our aim is that they are not having to add one more thing into their already busy schedules but using the engineering tasks to enhance their existing curriculum and integration of content standards. Thank you so much again for your thoughtful questions! 

     
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    Discussion is closed. Upvoting is no longer available

    Kimberly Elliott
  • Icon for: Daniel Damelin

    Daniel Damelin

    Facilitator
    Senior Scientist
    May 12, 2021 | 11:51 p.m.

    Having a community asset-based approach and orienting the design tasks to locally relevant issues is a great way to engage both teachers and students. Do foresee any challenges in scaling this approach to other communities?

  • Icon for: Frank Bowman

    Frank Bowman

    Co-Presenter
    Associate Professor & Chair
    May 13, 2021 | 11:50 a.m.

    Great question, Dan. One of our goals with this project is that it be adaptable - to different communities, cultural groups, grade levels, subject matters, etc. In planning the teacher professional development we've been having a lot of discussion about connecting cultural relevancy with the engineering design process by focusing on the "defining" stage of the process. That is where students and teachers can identify needs in their own community and use their own experiences to define the problem they are trying to solve and the constraints and criteria that are most important. One challenge in scaling to other communities may be in identifying the community resources, both cultural and technical, that teachers can access to help guide this defining stage.

  • Icon for: Monica Cardella

    Monica Cardella

    Funder
    May 18, 2021 | 05:09 p.m.

    Thank you for your work on this project and for creating this video to share your work. I am excited to learn more about what you learn through your focus on "defining."

  • Icon for: Dr. Julia V. Clark

    Dr. Julia V. Clark

    Facilitator
    Retired Federal Employee
    May 13, 2021 | 12:43 p.m.

    Implementing a project to explore strategies for supporting elementary and middle school teachers in integrating  culturally relevant engineering tasks into their classroom is important, especially as they relate to Native Americans. The project will use teachers from rural and Native serving schools. I am curious as to who will conduct the professional development  (PD) for these teachers? Are any Native American professionals involved? Are Native Americans at any level  involved in project implementation? How did you determine what is culturally relevant for this population? The Native Americans, as are African Americans, and Latinos, are drastically underserved in scientific fields. 

  • Icon for: Julie Robinson

    Julie Robinson

    Lead Presenter
    Assistant Professor
    May 13, 2021 | 01:01 p.m.

    Julia, thank you so much for raising this important question. One resource we are using is a document called the North Dakota Native American Essential Understandings, which was created several years ago as a collaboration between Tribal Elders from North Dakota's five Nations and the Department of Public Instruction. This framework outlines elements of culturally relevant instruction and pedagogy that are considered essential for being inclusive of Indigenous students in North Dakota. 

    https://www.nd.gov/dpi/education-programs/india...

    Our PD will include Native American professionals and community members who can introduce our participants to the Essential Understandings and ways of integrating this framework and cultural knowledge into their instruction. We do, however, welcome suggestions for additional resources that provide frameworks for incorporating culturally relevant instruction, as Beth mentioned! Thank you so much for your feedback. 

     
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    Discussion is closed. Upvoting is no longer available

    Brigitta Rongstad
  • Icon for: Kara Dawson

    Kara Dawson

    Higher Ed Faculty
    May 13, 2021 | 07:15 p.m.

    What a wonderful project. I love how you begin with children's literature and progress into geographically and culturally relevant STEM content! 

  • Icon for: Julie Robinson

    Julie Robinson

    Lead Presenter
    Assistant Professor
    May 16, 2021 | 01:27 p.m.

    Thank you so much, Kara! We are trying to be really mindful of integrating various disciplines into engineering to foster greater inclusivity and relevance for both students and teachers. 

  • May 15, 2021 | 10:05 p.m.

    Wonderful project.

  • Icon for: Julie Robinson

    Julie Robinson

    Lead Presenter
    Assistant Professor
    May 16, 2021 | 01:28 p.m.

    Thank you for the kind words, Kauser! 

  • Icon for: Alex DeCiccio

    Alex DeCiccio

    Media and Production Specialist
    May 16, 2021 | 02:15 p.m.

    We are water protectors is such a beautiful and inspiring work of art. Our 5 year old requests it often to read. It helps spark conversation around the importance of water and how we can all be water protecters, just like how the books asks us all to be at the end.

    Where can we follow along as this project continues to grow? Do you have trained mentors that came from your project working now?

  • Icon for: Julie Robinson

    Julie Robinson

    Lead Presenter
    Assistant Professor
    May 17, 2021 | 08:46 a.m.

    Thank you, Alex - yes, we agree, it is such a beautiful book! How wonderful that your 5-year-old is so engaged with it. Our project is just in its early stages, so we do not yet have a cohort of trained mentors. Our first group will be going through the program this summer and school year and then serving as mentors starting next summer. We will have a website up and running soon and will get it out to the community. Thank you for your comments! 

  • Icon for: Megan Davis

    Megan Davis

    Higher Ed Administrator
    May 18, 2021 | 11:23 a.m.

    Putting "We are Water Protectors" on my shopping list! Thanks for sharing. Best wishes for your project.

  • Icon for: Julie Robinson

    Julie Robinson

    Lead Presenter
    Assistant Professor
    May 18, 2021 | 02:50 p.m.

    It's a wonderful book! Thank you for sharing, Megan!! 

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