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Bridging High School STEM Abstract Concepts and Application: Teachers’ Implementation

[+] Author Affiliations
Jessica Chin, Ibrahim Zeid, Claire Duggan, Sagar Kamarthi

Northeastern University, Boston, MA

Paper No. DETC2012-70563, pp. 313-322; 10 pages
  • ASME 2012 International Design Engineering Technical Conferences and Computers and Information in Engineering Conference
  • Volume 7: 9th International Conference on Design Education; 24th International Conference on Design Theory and Methodology
  • Chicago, Illinois, USA, August 12–15, 2012
  • Conference Sponsors: Design Engineering Division, Computers and Information in Engineering Division
  • ISBN: 978-0-7918-4506-6
  • Copyright © 2012 by ASME


Many educational models are derived from a specific pedagogical stance ultimately manifesting into teacher personal pedagogy based on previous knowledge and inherent instinct. Past educational models like T4E emphasize core concepts such as structure of content for the learner, effective and engaging communication, and promotion and encouragement of hands-on learning. However, many of the educational models fall short of showing teachers how to implement new methods in their classrooms, and in providing them with the needed tools. The CAPSULE professional development was created and designed to fill this gap. Further, CAPSULE is designed to address the existing national problem of lack of interest in STEM subjects with high school students. Nevertheless, the problem is not with students but in the delivery method of STEM education. There is a disconnect between abstract STEM concepts and real-world application, therefore a loss of interest by students. Engineering-based learning (EBL) is a new approach that was designed to mitigate this problem by using existing and established tools and apply them to the high school classroom. EBL utilizes the engineering-design process (EDP), computer-aided design (CAD), and the capstone experience to relate theoretical STEM concepts to real-world applications. By leveraging these tools, we have created a unique methodology to take a recognized university capstone course model and modify it for high school STEM courses. The purpose of this study is to contribute to our understanding of how high school students learn and absorb basic STEM principles. Our goal is to disseminate engineering-based learning through our teacher professional development workshop. This paper presents the CAPSULE model and teacher feedback. It also presents sample implementation plans of teachers in their classroom as well as their student feedback.

Copyright © 2012 by ASME



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