This summer, Tufts Center for Engineering Education and Outreach (CEEO) is piloting a new format for professional development (PD) workshops that includes face-to-face time with a group of elementary-aged girls attending a week-long workshop at Tufts CEEO called Girls Week. Supporting Elementary School Students to Engineer is a four-day workshop that focuses on engineering education and student thinking. In this hands-on workshop, teachers will practice doing engineering with other participants of the PD as well as work with students in the concurrently running CEEO Girls Week workshop.
Teachers will observe a variety of engineering projects, learn about the fundamental aspects of what makes a good engineering project, and will collaborate with their peers and instructors on creating their own projects that they can implement in their classrooms. At the conclusion of the workshop, teachers will leave equipped with a handful of projects (demonstrated by CEEO education specialist Laura Fradin during the Girls Week workshop) that they can implement themselves, as well as their own self-created project. Teachers will also be equipped with the knowledge and ability to keep creating their own projects tailored for their specific school/classroom/student needs.
Participants will move between discussions about pedagogy and the practical aspects of engineering in the classroom to working directly with students who are participants in the Girls Week engineering-based workshop. This workshop will only be accepting for four to six participants and is based on a first come, first served basis.
Alison Earnhart will be the lead facilitator for the workshop. She is an instructor of physics at Juniata College. She has been teaching engineering, physics, and astronomy for over ten years. A National Board Certified teacher and two time Teacher of the Year, Alison studied physics education at Juniata College and engineering education at the University of Texas at Austin. Alison loves creating interactive lessons and classroom projects, and working with other teachers to develop their own engaging engineering and science curricula.
Elissa Milto will be the work with both the teachers and students attending the workshops and act as a liaison between the two She is Director of Outreach at Tufts Center for Engineering Education and Outreach. She works to provide schools, teachers, organizations, and students with engineering design opportunities. Elissa has been working in the engineering education field for twenty years and is particularly interested using open-ended, client-centered problems to bring engineering to elementary and middle school students, exploring ways that students with different learning styles and interests can become excited by and access engineering. Supporting teachers as they bring engineering with messy, ill-defined problems into their classrooms is another interest.
Laura Fradin will lead the student workshop. She is an educational specialist at Tufts Center for Engineering Education and Outreach. Laura began working with the CEEO as part of the Student Teacher Outreach Mentorship Program (STOMP) when she was an undergraduate students and went on to get a Master’s Degree in Education from Harvard. She currently spends her CEEO time running STOMP and coordinating and leading CEEO workshops, working with both students and teachers.