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Engineering: Because Dreams Need Doing

All web seminar participants use online tools that allow them to mark-up presenter's slides or share desktop applications in addition to engaging in chat with others online and answering poll questions This Web Seminar, developed in collaboration with the National Science Digital Library, took place on Thursday, February 19, 2009 from 6:30 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. Eastern time. In this program, presenters Mike Mooney and Mindy Zarske discussed engineering careers and the design process of materials.

Mike Mooney, Assistant Professor at Colorado School of Mines, gave an overview on how engineers are involved in the design process of materials. This process lends itself to the inquiry and project based learning in your classroom since it involves identifying needs and problems, investigating and gathering information on these needs, and then testing and modifying models based on analysis of design solutions.

Mindy Zarske, K-12 Engineering Coordinator for the University of Colorado, discussed different career types in engineering ranging from biomedical to aerospace to environmental fields and some of the things that engineers design within those fields. Zarske also conducted a web tour of Teach Engineering (, a free online collection of lesson plans, activities and curricular units related to engineering for grades K-12. Using biomedical and environmental topics as examples, participants learned how to navigate through the website in order to find a wealth of resources that show teachers how to incorporate engineering content in their teaching.

Thirty-Seven (37) participants were present at the live Web Seminar in addition to the presenters, the NSDL moderator, and the NSTA staff. Educators represented the states of California, Colorado, Connecticut, Illinois, Indiana, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, New Hampshire, New York, Ohio, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, and Virginia. Two individuals attended from the countries of Canada and Guatemala.

Seminar participants received one of the NSTA SciGuides. A certificate of attendance was deposited into participants My PD Record and Certificates area in the NSTA Learning Center for completing the evaluation form at the end of the program.

Here are some comments provided by the participants at the end of the Web Seminar:

  • “As a former biology teacher, these resources will help me teach 8th grade science which is much more earth and physical science.”

  • “I know a lot about ‘teach engineering’ have used it in the class room and with student engineers, still it is good to be reminded of the website.”

  • “It gave me some good resources for incorporating engineering into my curriculum.”

  • “Gave some resources to look at and investigate further.”

Thanks to the participants and the presenters for the learning opportunity, the interactions, and a job well done!


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