Engineering, Education faculty at Auburn University collaborate to improve STEM education in rural Alabama schools – Office of Communications and Marketing

Cookie Acknowledgement
This website uses cookies to collect information to improve your browsing experience. Please review our Privacy Statement for more information.
Auburn University has been awarded a $589,889, three-year grant for the first National Science Foundation Research Experiences for Teachers project at Auburn, titled, “Project-Based Learning for Rural Alabama STEM Middle School Teachers in Machine Learning and Robotics.”
This project will provide hands-on research experiences in robotics and machine learning/artificial intelligence, or ML/AI, for 30 STEM middle school teachers—10 each year—and expand their knowledge of teaching these concepts through project-based learning as part of a six-week summer program.
Part of a collaborative effort between the Samuel Ginn College of Engineering, the College of Education and teacher participants who will engage with project team members in developing curriculum modules using the contents in ML/AI, the program is expected to reach approximately 1,200 students across several school districts in rural and underserved areas of Alabama. The students will gain valuable knowledge relevant to preparing them for an increasingly technological society.
The project aims to provide the following experiences: 
Professional development activities and pedagogical approaches in the fundamentals of robotics and ML/AI and a novel platform for research and education of ML-based mobile robots
Engage teachers and undergraduate students in hands-on research projects on ML-based mobile robots that match well with faculty mentors’ active research projects
Collaboration with engineering and STEM education faculty to develop and implement project-based curricular modules
Leadership professional development and mentoring skills via teacher leader academies
Assist teachers to implement the RET curricular modules via academic follow-up. 
The project team from engineering includes Xiaowen Gong, assistant professor in electrical and computer engineering, who serves as the project’s principal investigator, Daniela Marghitu (Co-PI), faculty and director of the Education and Assistive Technology Laboratory in computer software and science engineering, and Thaddeus Roppel (Co-PI), associate professor in electrical and computer engineering.
Education project team members include Melody Russell (Co-PI), Alumni Professor of science education in the Department of Curriculum and Teaching, who will assist with the development of curriculum modules, as well as teacher professional development, and Chih-hsuan Wang, professor in the Department of Educational Foundations, Leadership and Technology, who will serve as project evaluator.
“We really wanted to reach out to educators from Alabama’s Black Belt region, which is traditionally underserved, and there is a high need for programs like this,” said Gong. “Every year, we will recruit 10 teachers and provide them with education and research activities directed by AU faculty members in electrical and computer engineering and computer science. We already have more than 10 AU faculty members signed up.”
Roppel, director of the Sensor Fusion Laboratory at Auburn, specializes in robotics and K-12 outreach. Roppel and Gong, along with a few other faculty members in electrical and computer engineering and computer science at Auburn, will be teacher participants’ mentors who provide research projects to the teachers.
Marghitu will develop the comprehensive web portal of the project and will work with Russell on developing curriculum modules for the middle school classroom in collaboration with teacher participants. Marghitu will also organize, in collaboration with Gong and all Co-PIs, a one-week camp in which the teachers will practice teaching the RET curriculum modules.
“We hope this project will improve the content knowledge for students and teachers in underserved areas of Alabama through the development of innovative curriculum modules based on cutting-edge technologies,” Gong said. “This new component will not replace their existing curriculum, but we hope this will spark an interest in STEM-related education and inspire them to pursue this avenue as a career or education focus.”
Educators interested in applying for the program are encouraged to complete this preliminary questionnaire.
Auburn University is a nationally ranked land grant institution recognized for its commitment to world-class scholarship, interdisciplinary research with an elite, top-tier Carnegie R1 classification, life-changing outreach with Carnegie’s Community Engagement designation and an undergraduate education experience second to none. Auburn is home to more than 30,000 students, and its faculty and research partners collaborate to develop and deliver meaningful scholarship, science and technology-based advancements that meet pressing regional, national and global needs. Auburn’s commitment to active student engagement, professional success and public/private partnership drives a growing reputation for outreach and extension that delivers broad economic, health and societal impact.

source

Share:

More Posts

Market Research

Pulse Surveys

Turn feedback into action

Our survey platform makes it easy to measure and understand feedback so you can drive growth and innovation

Pulse Handshak

Pulse Handshak

Collaborative online survey tool for the market research industry. Remote assisted surveying just like face-to-face interviews. Here interviewers can talk to the respondent over the web-console without the need for any other communication channel and share the same Q're with responses and click actions.

Pulse FE

Pulse FE

Pulse Field Expert or Pulse FE is the main platform for both offline and online survey at softofficepro.com. It is robust and used by hundreds of clients over tens of years with millions of responses. Do it once Q're and deploy on both offline devices (android) and online forms makes it a great cost effective platform for any kind of responses

Pulse Ultimate

Pulse Ultimate

Pulse Ultimate is targeted for tracking studies and retail audits. An offline survey system offering extreme field control including processes like data quality check, back-check, rework, comparison with previous wave data etc. helps to get the best results on a day-to-day basis

Pulse LS

Pulse LS

Use a managed Limesurvey and our expertise for creating complex forms and token based user management. Use optional mailing system to send survey invitation to each participant and track progress of the response status. Industry standard SPSS / R output supported