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9-4-18 — ONW Teacher Part of Large Engineering Grant, Study

Sept. 4, 2018 ~ Ohio Northern University, in collaboration with The Ohio State University and Olathe Northwest High School, has received a substantial grant from the National Science Foundation (NSF) to implement engineering design activities into high school science classrooms. The three-year grant, which began Aug. 1, is for $450,000. The funding source is the Discovery Research in PreK-12 program (DRK12) of the NSF Directorate for Education & Human Resources.

The project, “Promoting Engineering Problem Framing Skill Development in High School Science and Engineering Courses,” was designed and submitted by ONU faculty members Blake Hylton and Todd France together with Olathe Northwest teacher Bruce Wellman and others. Wellman is a chemistry and engineering educator at Northwest. He was also recently named to the NSF STEM Education Advisory Panel, which is overseen jointly by the foundation in collaboration with the U.S. Department of Education, NASA and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.

The project goal is to develop curricular activities and assessment guidance for K-12 science and engineering educators who seek to incorporate engineering design content into their biology, chemistry, and physics classes. If successful, the project could provide a powerful model of how to support busy and resource-constrained STEM teachers, and create broader student interest in STEM careers.

“This truly collaborative project to co-develop engineering instructional materials is a great example for how ALL instructional materials should be developed,” Wellman said. “We hope that this project will create both great learning tools for high school science students throughout the country and serve as a model for school districts to develop new partnerships with colleges and universities. Our team is uniquely positioned to develop science-teacher-requested activities that are engineer-verified and backed by solid education research. I’m eager to get students excited about how they can make the world a better place through engineering and science!”