9993 Views (as of 05/2023)
  1. Jayma Koval
  2. Researcher
  4. Georgia Institute of Technology, Georgia Tech CEISMC
  1. Meltem Alemdar
  2. Senior Research Scientist/Co-PI
  4. Georgia Institute of Technology
  1. Sabrina Grossman
  2. http://slider.gatech.edu/
  3. Program Director
  5. Georgia Tech CEISMC
  1. Jeff Rosen
  2. CEISMC Program Director and Co-PI Implementation and Partnerships
  4. Georgia Institute of Technology
  1. Mike Ryan
  2. http://slider.gatech.edu/
  3. Research Scientist
  5. Georgia Institute of Technology
  1. Marion Usselman
  2. AMP-IT-UP Co-PI and Program Director
  4. Georgia Institute of Technology, Griffin Spalding County Schools

Advanced Manufacturing and Prototyping Integrated to Unlock Potential (AMP-IT...

NSF Awards: 1238089

2017 (see original presentation & discussion)

Grades 6-8, Grades 9-12

Advanced Manufacturing and Prototyping Integrated to Unlock Potential (AMP-IT-UP) is a National Science Foundation Math and Science Partnership to promote workforce development and to identify and cultivate the next generation of creative science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) innovators. The core partners of AMP-IT-UP are Georgia Institute of Technology and the Griffin-Spalding County School System (GSCS).

AMP-IT-UP includes Engineering and STEM Innovation and Design (STEM-ID) courses, integrated STEM curriculum in math and science classes, extracurricular opportunities for students and teachers, and research on how the project affects academic engagement, content understanding, knowledge transfer and student persistence in STEM.

In this project, high school students use advanced manufacturing equipment to create innovative design projects as part of a redesigned introductory engineering course.

Middle school students explore their creativity in 18-week STEM-ID courses, using rapid prototyping equipment located on GSCS campuses. Middle school students also participate in integrated, project-based lessons in their mathematics and science classes that promote inquiry and situated learning and that contextualize STEM topics to demonstrate their relevancy to middle school students.

AMP-IT-UP’s strategy for STEM integration is to weave a coherent thread of science and math practices through all STEM learning.  The practices chosen as integrating themes in AMP-IT-UP instructional materials all relate to the collection, visualization, interpretation and communication of data, and are aligned with practices from the Next Generation Science Standards and the Standards of Mathematical Practice.

During the 2015-2016 school year, approximately 1,500 students participated in the middle school STEM-ID courses, 250 in the high school engineering course, and 2,300 middle grades students participate in AMP-IT-UP math and science instructional units

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Discussion from the 2017 STEM for All Video Showcase (12 posts)
  • Icon for: Jayma Koval

    Jayma Koval

    Lead Presenter
    May 14, 2017 | 05:15 p.m.


    We are at the end of Year 5 of the AMP-IT-UP Math and Science Partnership project, and are interested in connecting with potential partners (universities, school systems, schools, other educational entities) for broader dissemination of the curriculum. We have materials for middle school that integrate engineering, science, and math and that have been piloted and assessed.  

    Please send us a message at ampitup@gatech.edu if you are interested.  And we would love to have you post on this site as well!

  • Dyla Hernandez

    Higher Ed Faculty
    May 16, 2017 | 04:20 p.m.

    What would you say were the key factors in the partnership and the program that facilitated curriculum implementation?

  • Icon for: Marion Usselman

    Marion Usselman

    AMP-IT-UP Co-PI and Program Director
    May 16, 2017 | 06:32 p.m.

    Thanks for the question, Dyla.  Because AMP-IT-UP is a Math and Science Partnership, the school system has been a central partner in the project, enabling us to implement our STEM-ID course in four middle schools at all grade levels.  It is implemented as an Engineering and Technology connections class, and satisfies all the standards for those middle school classes.  As there is only one engineering teacher per school, we are able to provide personal, one-on-one attention to those teachers, which greatly helps the implementation.

    Implementing and assessing modules in the core math and science classes is much more complicated than implementing in connections classes.  There are far more math and science teachers than technology teachers, and our partner schools are generally ones that struggle academically and have a substantial problem with teacher turnover.  We have had to be very flexible about designing teacher professional development workshops that both develop and cultivate teacher leaders and bring new teachers up to speed as quickly as possible.  However, our view has always been that these are the conditions in the schools that educate our most vulnerable students, so we design our products (both the curricula and the professional development) within these authentic settings, and grapple with the constraints as they appear.  All the way along, we have maintained a close relationship with the central school system administrators, meeting with them bi-weekly via skype to discuss the project.  That partnership is based on trust on both sides, and a dedication to open and frequent communication with all stakeholders.  There is no way that the schools would allow this type of in-class development and experimentation without a firm partnership foundation.

  • Icon for: Martin Storksdieck

    Martin Storksdieck

    Director and Professor
    May 17, 2017 | 09:32 a.m.

    This is a wonderful project - thank you for sharing. In the video you provide a quick overview of the outcomes on students (impressive): Have you published this already?   In terms of scale-up: this seems like a very worthy project to find more "takers": Marion, you outline a little what it took to start the project and sustain it through the R&D stage. But what is your sense of teacher, school, and school system investment required to now join in a "canned" program, and what kind of ongoing support would you offer if a lot of school districts wanted to adopt this? [Which I hope would happen]

  • Icon for: Marion Usselman

    Marion Usselman

    AMP-IT-UP Co-PI and Program Director
    May 17, 2017 | 12:05 p.m.


    We are currently submitting the student outcome results for publication.  Essentially, students who take two semesters of our STEM-ID course during middle school show significant improvement on their 8th grade math and science standardized test scores (the Milestones test in Georgia).  Our schools are, in general, very low performing.  In math, we see dramatic shifts from the "beginner" level to the "developing" level, and in science we even see a large increase in the number of students in the "proficient" level.  Students also report significant increases in cognitive engagement, emotional engagement, self-efficacy and intention to persist in STEM, and decreases in math and science anxiety.


    We are very eager to scale up the project, most immediately the STEM-ID course.  We want to replicate the research on test scores for different types of schools, and also to try to tease out what is going on.  Since the STEM-ID course does not focus on grade-level specific math and science standards, and instead emphasizes fundamental skills and practices in math and science, it is possible that increases in math and science scores reflect students being more engaged in school, and them being willing to actually read the test questions and critically think about them.  I think we have very good evidence that having a 5th core course in middle school, dedicated to integrating and practicing STEM concepts through engaging design challenges, might be the easiest way to enable schools like ours to approach the types of experiences and type of learning advocated in NGSS.


    Our curriculum materials are currently free online, and the costs for implementation are modest compared to most engineering programs.  Schools generally pick up the costs through Perkins funds.  We are planning to develop online professional development materials to enable school systems to adopt the courses.  The Georgia Department of Education is planning to approve the STEM-ID course sequence as an option for middle school engineering. 


    As we mentioned above, we are looking for potential partners who might be interested in implementing the STEM-ID course.  We would love to hear from interested folks.

  • Icon for: Martin Storksdieck

    Martin Storksdieck

    Director and Professor
    May 18, 2017 | 02:32 a.m.

    Thank you for the detailed info: very helpful, and very thoughtful!  I wish I could provide a contact here other than Christine Cunningham at the Museum of Science in Boston: As you probably know, MOS has been a major player in engineering for K-12. The National Academy for Engineering has a website that, as far as I remember, collects and makes more visible effective engineering education approaches. 

  • Icon for: Jackie DeLisi

    Jackie DeLisi

    Research Scientist
    May 17, 2017 | 12:14 p.m.

    I've been very interested in the use of engineering to engage students with math and science practices, and I'm interested in how teachers are supported to do so. Can you say more about how you see your materials being applicable to schools that do not have a special engineering course-- have you examined ways in which your materials could be used and supported in more traditional math and science classrooms? 

  • Icon for: Marion Usselman

    Marion Usselman

    AMP-IT-UP Co-PI and Program Director
    May 17, 2017 | 12:55 p.m.

    The total AMP-IT-UP curriculum consists of the engineering STEM-ID course, and 1-week modules in the math and science classes.  We have created 3 modules for each grade level in both math and science, for a total of 18 modules.  We view the modules, which are highly scaffolded, as demonstration units for teachers that help show them how they can integrate the grade-level content with science and math practices, in the context of an engaging problem and challenge. We had a previous DRK-12 project that designed a much more extensive curriculum that covered a large portion of the content of 8th grade physical science, using LEGO robotics.  We have learned that when working with teachers who are in challenging situations, and who are not themselves comfortable with inquiry-based or PBL instruction, that giving them 1-week dosages, then enabling them to go back to their comfort zone for a while, gives us better success than asking them to implement a 10-week experience with fidelity.


    The integrating themes that run through all the modules and the STEM-ID courses are practices related to data--how data is collected (i.e. experimental design, creating procedures, control of variables), how it is represented or visualized (graphing and extracting meaning from different types of graphs), and how you make decisions based on data, in situations where there are trade-offs and messy conditions.  We then work with the teachers to encourage them to transform more of their lessons into activities like these.  So the modules are meant to be educative for teachers.  We are currently using the science modules as part of a professional development institute with a second school system to help the teachers understand what NGSS instruction looks like.


    So far, in our experience, science teachers are much more comfortable with PBL and inquiry instruction than math teachers.  We are excited about scaling up and further disseminating our math modules, which all include hands-on activities where the students collect and analyze data.  We have found that the teachers particularly like the modules that teach statistical content, like sampling and box-plots, as the teachers themselves often struggle with that content and have a hard time making it relevant.  We also want to expand upon the science modules. 


    As an aside about the STEM-ID courses, they are very appropriate for use in integrated STEM courses, as well as in engineering.  In Georgia, a number of middle schools are re-purposing the elective/connections courses, and creating general STEM classes.  However, the curriculum isn't targeted at standards-based math and science core courses, specifically because the standards in those courses generally preclude more open investigation.  That is unfortunate, but is currently the system of schools that we live in.

  • Dr. Taylor

    K-12 Administrator
    May 19, 2017 | 09:16 a.m.

    I have experienced the STEM ID courses at both the high school and middle school levels. I am super excited to see our kids highlighted here in the video. Our teachers have had an opportunity to participate in rich professional development opportunities. The online modules, face to face workshops, and conferences have been beneficial. Additionally, the support staff has been wonderful at observing lessons and providing all of the necessary resources to implement the modules. Students are excited and engaged when learning and participating in the hands on activities. Although we are at the end of the grant, I am certain that the impact of AMP will be long lasting in our school. Thanks for all that you do. 

  • Icon for: Jeff Rosen

    Jeff Rosen

    CEISMC Program Director and Co-PI Implementation and Partnerships
    May 19, 2017 | 12:38 p.m.

    Dr. Taylor

    It is a pleasure to work with you and your staff.  The work that we have done together with the staff has had a definite impact on the students at your school.  We may be approaching the end of the grant, but most definitely not the end of the partnership.  We hope to continue our relationship with the district and school as we pursue other projects.  We are also finding ways for a local support chain, as the teachers continue to implement the AMP-IT-UP curriculum and event expand their other teaching towards the model of AMP pedagogy.

  • Ashley Crawford

    K-12 Administrator
    May 19, 2017 | 03:06 p.m.

    I have been involved in the AMP-It Up partnership with GA Tech for several years.  The curriculum, resources, professional learning and overall support from their team has been very much appreciated. They want to see our students be successful by helping to ensure that Science, Math and Engineering are connected to the real world.  Thank you, GA Tech!!

  • Icon for: Jeffrey Barrett

    Jeffrey Barrett

    May 22, 2017 | 11:45 a.m.

    This project looks like an effective development of curriculum for STEM, with lots of thoughtful work. I am glad to see you have succeeded in practical implementation.  Have you carried out research to show the comparative benefits of this curriculum as opposed to others?

    Do you foresee implementing the curricular units at a larger scale next? What kinds of challenges have you met in your present implementation?

    Thanks for sharing your work!


  • Further posting is closed as the event has ended.