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K-12 and Higher Ed: The Best of Both Worlds

Session 2
Youngmoo Kim, Adam Fontecchio — Drexel University, College of Engineering

There's arguably never been a greater need for collaboration and innovative programs spanning K-12 and higher education. At Drexel University, we've explored many paths for engagement with the School District of Philadelphia (Science Leadership Academy and many other schools) as well as other private and parochial schools in the region.

Drexel hosts an NSF-sponsored STEM GK-12 program, partnering 10 engineering graduate student fellows with 10 high school science teachers and classrooms. The overarching theme for this project is the National Academy of Engineerings Grand Challenges, 14 imperatives facing the world that must be solved in the coming decades (providing clean water, making solar energy economical, etc.) The graduate fellows each spend at least 10 contact hours at their school in partnership with the participating teachers, employing their expertise and the context of the Engineering Grand Challenges to develop and implement new activities and curricula.

The Drexel College of Engineering has also developed several unique after-school and summer programs that offer novel opportunities for student engagement. Since 2006, the Music & Entertainment Technology lab has hosted the Summer Music Technology program (SMT), which uses the process and devices for creating and enjoying digital music to reveal some of the science, math, and engineering behind these technologies. Other initiatives have led to the formation and mentoring of robotics programs at local middle and high schools.

After initially describing (briefly) some of these efforts, the conversation will solicit suggestions for other models for K-12 and College/University collaboration and brainstorming of new activities for potential development.

Conversational Practice

We will make the session available via Skype / webcast, and use an online mind-mapping tool to outline the discussion. We will also develop a more detailed wiki as the conversation progresses.

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