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Drafting a Blueprint for Educating Tomorrow's Engineers Today

Overview:

Drafting a Blueprint for Teaching Tomorrow's Engineers Today is a two-year MSP Start-Partnership that is bringing together students, educators, and industry to hold continued conversations in which partners discuss, define, discover, and design a clear path that leads to an MSP Targeted Partnership. This partnership will have three goals: 1) increase awareness about engineering by the 5,692 middle school (grades 6 - 8) students in the Springfield Public Schools (SPS); 2) improve the knowledge base of approximately 240 future and in-service middle school teachers so that they will have the skills, materials, and enthusiasm to excite their students about engineering; and 3) create a fluid and dynamic engineering education pipeline where each level (industry, four year college programs, two year college programs, K-12 schools) informs the preceding level about the skill base needed to ensure success. The goal of this initial work is a partnership that will leverage the expertise of all its participants, connections, and experience to accelerate the development of methodologies and techniques in STEM teaching, growing the pool of subject matter and expertise available to all STEM teachers, thereby increasing the diversity of thought and practice. Increased understanding of STEM concepts helps remove the fear factor and allows students to achieve a comfort level characterized by curiosity and creativity in these areas, inspiring them to continue to pursue STEM projects and classes and make relevant connections between STEM concepts and the analysis and solution of real world problems. Teachers will become an integral part of a dynamic, supportive network of college faculty and business and industry partners that will provide sustained support and be responsive to the changing needs of both teachers and students.