We are excited to welcome you to the revival of the CEEO newsletter. This newsletter will be used to share a few of the highlights of all the amazing projects and programs happening at the CEEO. We’d love to hear from you too. Send pictures, updates or videos to email@example.com, and we’ll work to include them in future newsletters.
By Sarah Matheny, Alumni of the Teacher Engineering Education Program (TEEP)
Sarah Matheny, Science and Design Thinking Teacher from St. George’s Independent School,
Germantown, TN, shares the work done by a 4th grade class called “The Cardboard Boat Project”
Our fourth graders study explorers in the Fall and this year the teachers thought it would be fun to have ourstudents make their own boats that they could actually float in… out of cardboard! This project sounded exciting and scary at the same time. The teachers assured me it could be done and all would be fine!
The Development and Implementation of a Tool for Encouraging the Practice of Student-Driven Documentation in Engineering Design
By Susan Bitetti, Staff Member
With the increase of engineering design activities in K-12 classrooms comes a new set of challenges to educators and policy-makers. Previous studies have demonstrated the benefits of incorporating design tasks into formal education curriculum; however, a gap in research still remains surrounding how additional tools can best support students and teachers in these less than traditional learning environments. For my thesis research, I designed, tested, and evaluated a tool made with the intent of specifically supporting the practice of documentation during engineering design tasks within formal education settings.
Do you want more information about CEEO? Check out our CEEO Annual Report that covers 2015 and 2016!
by Kristen Wendell, McDonnell Family Professor in Engineering Education
I’m pleased to have this chance to tell you about the Portable Maker Workshop, a new tool for classroom engineering design from Pre-K to grade 8. At the Center for Engineering Education and Outreach, we are always looking for more ways to support learners in creating functional, testable prototypes of solutions to engineering challenges. Our focus on functionality and testability stems from our “constructionist” (Papert, 1980) view that the construction of public physical artifacts is a productive way to engage learners in disciplinary practices and build conceptual knowledge.
by Elissa Milto, Director of Outreach
Building on Novel Engineering, the CEEO will be offering a series of three online Novel Engineering challenges. In January, we began work on a grant funded by the United Engineering Foundation that will support work on Novel Engineering Challenges. The goal of Novel Engineering Challenges is to broaden interest and participation in engineering by providing a new entry point to engineering through literacy and human-centered problems. This initiative will be a hybrid between the content and approach of Novel Engineering and online sharing platform of Dr. E’s Challenges.
by Dr. Ethan Danahy, Research Assistant Professor, CEEO
During the interim break between the Fall 2016 semester and the start of the Spring 2017 semester, the Center for Engineering Education and Outreach (CEEO) at Tufts University hosted its first ever “Winternship,” an opportunity for students staying local over winter break to spend the first two weeks of January working on CEEO-related technology development initiatives. A total of 14 undergraduates from Tufts University, Wellesley College, UMass Amherst, and Stonehill College participated, starting the Winternship with an orientation learning about LEGO Robotics and Laser Cutting, and then transitioning to working on several research projects, each sponsored by a different Tufts University grad student, staff member, or professor in connection with ongoing research and development initiatives at the University.
by Magee Shalhoub, CEEO Program Administrator
This year, the Center for Engineering Education and Outreach (CEEO) was excited to celebrate our twentieth anniversary on October 23, 2016! The CEEO was established in 1996 and was one of the first pioneers to start thinking about engineering education. The CEEO works to bring engineering into K-12 classrooms to give students a fundamental understanding of what engineering is and support teachers in enacting engineering curriculum in their classrooms. It’s been an amazing twenty years, and the CEEO was thrilled to celebrate with CEEO faculty, staff, students, alumni, former directors, and employees as well as with the Tufts and local Somerville and Medford community.
STOMPers, Christopher Camacho and Camille-Louise Mbayo, share their curriculum used during the Fall 2016 semester in a 5th grade class with 19 students. STOMP is our Student Teacher Outreach Program. If you want more information, visit STOMPnetwork.org
Description of your curriculum
Our curriculum covers the physics behind sports including soccer, football, ice hockey, sailing, and figure skating. The uniqueness of our curriculum stems from showing kids that engineering is in things they least expect. Our curriculum integrates the physical, mental, and materials portion of sports. For example, we went over projectile motion while talking about the best degree to throw a football. We used slingshots that the students made to mimic the trajectory of the ball. We talked about materials being weaker at grain boundaries while making soccer nets. We also discussed momentum in figure skating through making spinning tops.
by Barbara Bratzel
Dr E’s challenges encourage children to design creative solutions to open-ended problems and share their creations with other children around the world. The two Dr. E’s websites, Dr. E’s MINDSTORMS Challenges and Dr. E’s WeDo Challenges, post a new challenge each month. Children work on their creations during the month, then share photos and video of them on the Dr. E’s websites. The Dr. E’s sites have almost eight hundred registered users from around the world, representing every continent but Antarctica. Entries to challenges have spanned the globe as well. Last month’s joint challenge, Aviary, received entries from Australia, Chile, Poland, Romania, Spain, and the United States.
This summer the CEEO ran a variety of 3-5 day workshops for students in Kindergarten through 8th Grade. While workshops differed in age range and theme, they all engaged students in the Engineering Design Process in fun and hands-on ways. Below are some highlights from the workshops we ran this summer.