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Engineering in K–12 Education: Understanding the Status and Improving the Prospects
The M/S/T Major at TCNJ
The M/S/T program provides 10 units of “liberal learning” courses, such as creative design, calculus A, and a natural science. The 12-unit M/S/T academic major has an eight-unit core, which includes courses in multimedia design, structures and mechanics, two additional science courses, and one additional math course (either calculus B or engineering math). Areas of specialization must include four additional units in technology/pre-engineering, mathematics, biology, chemistry, or physics. Specialization is the equivalent of a minor in one of the disciplines and may require that specific courses be included in the core requirements. M/S/T students who major in education must also complete 10 units of professional education courses. Such students meet New Jersey’s certification requirements for highly qualified teachers. In addition to primary K–5 certification, M/S/T majors can apply for an endorsement for teaching middle school mathematics or science, if they have completed 15 credits of coursework in the discipline and have passed the appropriate PRAXIS test. They may also receive technology-education certification, if they have completed at least 30 specified credits and passed the appropriate PRAXIS test.
SOURCE: Karsnitz, 2007.
education may enroll in an introductory engineering course offered by the College of Engineering. The course is supplemented by a seminar led by education faculty that considers how engineering projects can be used in the K–12 classroom to meet state teaching standards for math and science as well as reading, writing, and other non-technical subjects (Miller and Smith, 2006).
Through a collaboration with TERC (www.terc.edu), Lesley University and Walden University offer an online course, Engineering: From Science to Design, for education master’s degree candidates. The course includes independent, hands-on work and group feedback and discussion in facilitated online forums (Sara Lacy, TERC, May 15, 2008).
At least two states have started programs to provide new K–12 teachers with STEM credentials. In California, the University of California, California State University, and state and industry leaders initiated Cal Teach (http://calteach.berkeley.edu/),