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Title: Preparing Rural Middle School Teachers to Implement an Engineering Design Elective Course: A Just-In-Time Professional Development Approach
This paper presents the experiences of two STEM outreach specialists as they prepared two rural middle school teachers with limited STEM backgrounds to implement a 3-part grade level specific engineering design elective course at their schools. This work is part of an Innovative Experiences for Teachers and Students (ITEST) project designed to provide community-based engineering design experiences for underrepresented middle school students (grades 6-8) from rural N.C. The course engages students in authentic STEM design experiences situated in the advanced manufacturing industry in an effort to improve their STEM content knowledge and career awareness and their self-efficacy, identity and interest in STEM careers, particularly engineering. The outreach specialists experienced a number of challenges as they worked with the teachers, many of which were exacerbated by the on-going pandemic. In response to social distancing requirements imposed by COVID-19, the specialists adopted a just-in-time (JIT) approach to teacher professional development (PD) where the content, pace, and scheduling of PD sessions were based on each individual teacher’s prior content knowledge, comfort level and work schedule. This paper focuses on the process of skill preparation of the middle school teachers in the execution of the 6th grade course in the 2020-21 school year. Additional aspects to be discussed include a sampling of best practices, an overview of lessons learned and implementation strategies during the second iteration of the 6th grade course and the first implementation of the 7th grade course during the 2021-22 school year.  more » « less
Award ID(s):
1949454
NSF-PAR ID:
10405307
Author(s) / Creator(s):
; ;
Publisher / Repository:
ASEE Conferences
Date Published:
Format(s):
Medium: X
Location:
Minneapolis, MN
Sponsoring Org:
National Science Foundation
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