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Bridging Energy Science Education and Careers with Innovative Technologies

Grant Number:   EG-17-009

GRANT ACTIVE DATE

3/1/17 - 2/28/19

PROGRAM AREA

Grant

AWARD AMOUNT

$67,778

PRINCIPAL INVESTIGATOR

U Sunday Tim

LOCATION

Ames, IA

STATUS

active

ORGANIZATION

Iowa State University

FOCUS

Education and Outreach

As the nation’s leader in biofuels (ethanol and biodiesel), it is imperative that Iowa’s K-12 students have a basic understanding of the nation’s energy supply and consumption chain, and the associated environmental and social issues. Effective education programs that improve energy literacy can help draw students toward further studies and careers in the growing fields of energy-related science, engineering and technology and prepare them to interpret energy issues and make appropriate energy-related decisions as they become adults. The proposed two-year project addresses this critical need to improve energy literacy in Iowa and provide middle school students experiences that enable them to understand energy concepts as well as environmental implications. The project will address four primary goals. First, the project will create web-based learning environment and resources to support in-service middle school teachers’ continuing education in critical areas of renewable energy, pedagogy, and technology. Second, the project will use design principles focused on deepening students’ understanding of such topics as energy sustainability through creation of four online modules with educational materials that include problems focused on understanding fundamental principles, connecting key concepts, and lifecycle analysis (LCA) modeling and simulation. Third, the project will increase in-service middle school teachers’ knowledge and enactment of instructional practices, using the developed modules and resources, through on-site and online professional development. Finally, the project will assess the professional development effectiveness of the online modules and materials focused on teachers’ content knowledge and teaching practices using surveys, interviews, and classroom observations. Dissemination of materials will occur through the project’s website, which will include both student and teacher materials, as well as the TeachEngineering.org digital repository. The project’s research findings will be disseminated though conference presentations and journal article submissions.