Connected STEM: Promoting STEM Education through Connected Devices and Building Automation is a NSF-funded collaborative research project that is promoting STEM through the use of building automation applications, connected devices (commonly called the Internet of Things), and additive manufacturing (known as 3D printing). This project will systematically evaluate the effect of authentic experiential learning activities related to engineering design on students’ interests, skills, knowledge, and career aspirations.
As part of the Connected STEM project, the Texas A&M College of Engineering is hosting a two-week summer institute for educators who teach grades 3-8. During the summer institute selected teachers will learn about the product development process, design and manufacturing of components using additive manufacturing technologies, and the development and programming of connected electronic devices. Participating teachers will spend two weeks (July 22 – August 2, 2019) on the Texas A&M campus and receive targeted, one-on-one instruction from Texas A&M faculty and industry mentors. Any STEM teacher who teaches grades 3-8 may apply to participant. Teams of teachers from the same campus are encouraged to apply and will be given preference during the participant selection process.
Summer Institute Activities
During the summer institute participating teachers will:
- Receive instruction regarding computer-aided design (CAD) and 3D printing.
- Use open OpenSCAD, an open source CAD software.
- Be introduced to parametric CAD modeling.
- Prepare a model for 3-D printing and take into account the effects of 3D printing on material properties.
- Receive instruction on node circuitry through the use of block diagrams and schematics.
- Apply the knowledge learned to build node circuitry units by soldering electronic components onto the printed circuit boards.
- Use sensors to collect data and other necessary information to manage the energy use of the building in an efficient manner.
- Implement the activities they developed during the summer institute into their classes over the course of one half year (three six week marking periods).
- Receive support through the mentorship of industry professionals in connected devices or building automation.
Additional Benefits for Participating Teachers
Participating teachers will receive
- $3000 in stipends after successful completion of summer institute and academic year follow-up activities.
- A 3D printer and necessary 3D printing materials.
- IoT sensors and software.
- Continuing Professional Education Credits
All teachers interested in participating in the project must be able to complete the full-year project. Participants of the project will be expected to:
- Complete the two-week summer training (July 22 – August 2, 2019)
- Integrate devises developed during the summer training into current curriculum
- Invite industry partners into their classrooms
- Help organize and participate in family STEM night
- Complete all surveys and project evaluation instruments
Application to Participate