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Drexel Engineers Attend K-12 Conference to Advance STEM Education

March 16, 2012

STEM body

Drexel Engineers affiliated with the Drexel National Science Foundation (NSF) Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) K-12 program will be attending the 2012 NSF Graduate STEM Fellows in K-12 Education Annual Conference March 16-18, 2012 in Washington, D.C. The conference will allow university faculty, graduate student fellows and K-12 teachers to present their STEM research during workshops throughout the meeting. Drexel will be participating by presenting at the K-12 Graduate Fellow Research Poster Session, K-12 Project Poster Session and running a workshop titled: Utilizing the National Academy of Engineering (NAE) Grand Challenges to sustain STEM K-12 and University partnerships through regional, international and informal institutional collaborations. 

This year’s Annual Conference will feature hundreds of university faculty, graduate and teaching fellows from across the nation that will speak on how they keep students engaged in a classroom setting while teaching ambitious topics that incorporate global obstacles through a number of successful education programs. The STEM K-12 program leaders will demonstrate the strategies they use to translate STEM research into a context that both students and teachers can understand and embrace. Representing Drexel at the conference will be Dr. Adam Fontecchio, associate dean of undergraduate affairs; Dr. Youngmoo Kim, assistant dean of media technologies; Jessica Ward, director of research and development for Electrical and Computer Engineering; graduate fellows Eleanor Small, doctoral student in Chemical and Biological Engineering; Jared Coyle, a doctoral candidate in Electrical and Computer Engineering and teaching fellows from the School District of Philadelphia’s Science Leadership Academy Stephanie Dunda and Matt VanKouwenberg. 

“Drexel is a leader in STEM education and through the GK-12 program, we have expanded the engagement of our community teachers in societal issues. Working in partnership, we are raising awareness in the classrooms of engineering solutions to solve global problems,” said Fontecchio.  

The Drexel STEM K-12 program supports the pairing of Drexel doctoral students with local high school teachers through academic fellowship to enhance the math and science education of the high school students through the context of NAE Grand Challenges while concurrently illustrating the global nature of these societal issues. The high school students and K-12 teachers gain an appreciation for the science and mathematics concepts in an applied, real world context. Concurrently, K-12 Fellows become knowledgeable in pedagogy through direct application of their technical/scientific expertise in the context of the classroom setting, interaction with the teacher and mentoring students.