Shaking Up Pre-Calculus: Incorporating Engineering into K-12 Curricula

ABSTRACT

Projects highlighting Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) education in high schools have promoted student interest in engineering-related fields and enhanced student understanding of mathematics and science concepts. The Science and Technology Enhancement Program (Project STEP), funded by a NSF GK-12 grant at the University of Cincinnati, is one community partnership that focused on improving STEM skills and communication. As a product of Project STEP, a lesson was developed and implemented in a local Cincinnati high school classroom on applying Trigonometry functions in pre-calculus to the study of Earthquake Engineering vibrations. This lesson, Shaking Up Pre-Calculus, shows that student involvement, understanding of the material, and interest in engineering can all be enhanced through innovative educational practices. Moreover, inquiry based lessons of this type can easily be made to meet educational standards and be incorporated into existing curricula. An overview, objectives, standards addressed, and assessments of the lesson are presented here in detail. Additionally, assessment results, student feedback, and reflections from the program participants are offered.
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Chelsea Sabo

Chelsea Sabo

Andrea C. Burrows

Andrea C. Burrows

Lois Childers

Lois Childers

 

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