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Preparing the Next Generation of Cross Disciplinary Trained STEM Teachers

When the preparation of the next generation of STEM teachers is discussed in education circles, few think of teachers earning an engineering degree as a pathway to entering the teaching profession. Teachers prepared with an engineering degree are well equipped to help young learners “connect the STEM dots” through design, problem solving, experimentation, making, and understanding the balance between the designed and natural world in which they live. STEM learning is often abstract and STEM subjects are too often taught in isolation without reference and meaningful connections. This project broadens the STEM learning landscape by emphasizing integrated STEM (iSTEM) teacher preparation that includes integrated design (iDesign) across STEM subjects by not only preparing a new breed of engineering trained teachers, but also by redesigning the traditional STEM teacher preparation model to include cross STEM discipline teacher preparation that emphasizes content border crossings and prepares teachers to work in cross functional diversity teams in schools. The project will result in the integration of new design projects in the engineering curricula for pre-service STEM teachers and a new cross-discipline STEM methods course that will serve as a model for other institutions to adopt. Thus, it will make a substantive contribution to improving undergraduate education. The CSU STEM Center served as the evaluators for this project.

Status: Ended

PI: Thomas Siller

PI Institution: Colorado State University

Source of Funding: NSF

Funding Program: IUSE

Award Amount: $592,634

Start Date: 09/01/2015

End Date: 08/31/2018

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