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STEM Initiatives: Science & Engineering

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STEM Initiatives: Science & Engineering

Science & engineering is essential to solving Washington’s most complex challenges, including efficient transportation, environmental sustainability, affordable housing, and economic security. Science & engineering fuels our local job creation across every industry – tech, aerospace, manufacturing, clean energy, health and life sciences, agriculture and food manufacturing, construction, and retail. Additionally, education standards are changing. In 2013, Washington state adopted the Next Generation Science Standards, which have an unprecedented—and exciting—engineering component.

What We're Doing
 
To increase engineering education efforts throughout the state, Washington STEM and Washington MESA, with funding from 100Kin10, are partnering to design and implement  the Engineering Fellows Program.

Engineering Fellows is a highly competitive program that brings engineering expertise directly into fifth grade classrooms around the state.  Engineering Fellows collaborate with professional engineers and college/graduate engineering students to design and implement engineering design challenges that are integrated with their local curriculum. 

Over the next three years, we aim to ensure that almost 200 5th grade teachers are equipped, empowered, and well-supported to engage students in engineering design challenges based on real-world problems. In an intensive Summer Design Institute, teachers, engineers, and college and graduate engineering students will collaborate to develop a menu of design challenges and teaching plans for students during the 2016-2017 school year.

The Fellows will convene throughout the year during Saturday sessions to reflect upon and refine the design challenges. By the end of Year 1, we will have a “playbook” of the Engineering Fellows program, 2-3 case studies of diverse classroom implementation, and refined design challenges with teaching plans that can be replicated and refined in Year 2.  The products of this work will be freely available and shared widely.
 

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