The Rice Engineering Design for Middle School Science (EDMSS) program partners the Rice School of Engineering with the Spring Independent School District to enable middle school science teachers to infuse engineering topics into their classes. Our focus on middle school is deliberate, as studies indicate that a majority of STEM professionals developed their career interest in middle school [Maltese and Tai, International Journal of Science Education, vol. 32, pp. 669-685, 2010.] The general goals of the EDMSS program are to:
- Give teachers the content and implementation skills to develop and integrate project based learning lessons, open-ended activities, and design challenges into science courses to enhance student motivation and learning;
- Provide teachers with the experience, knowledge, and skills necessary to guide students through engineering design problems that integrate science and mathematics concepts aligned with TEKS and College and Career Readiness Standards to improve STAAR test scores;
- Provide teachers with instructional resources to implement effective strategies for their own students and subject area;
- Familiarize teachers with engineering professional practice, the content of the different engineering areas, and the nature of various engineering degrees and their requirements, so that they can advise students; and
- Build collaborations with each other and with other STEM teachers in a cycle of sharing, planning, implementing, observing and reflecting on their teaching practices, advancing their knowledge through inquiry and building a professional community.
EDMSS will be designed and directed by Dr. James F. Young, Professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering, Dr. David Alexander, Professor of Physics and Astronomy, both at Rice University; and Dr. Deborah L. Jensen; Dr. Lissa Heckleman, Director of the Rice Education Certification Program and Summer School will consult on secondary school educational policy, regulations, and instructional standards issues. Dr. Terry Talley, Southeast Regional T-STEM Center, will advise on techniques to improve the academic discourse skills of all students, and for including ELPS in instruction. EDMSS is funded by a grant from the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board through the Teacher Quality Grants program, with additional support from the Rice University George R. Brown School of Engineering; it is based on a successful three-year professional development program for high school science teachers; see the menu for a description of Grant #468.
Summer workshop: 8 days, July 9–13, & 16–18, 8:30 am to 4 pm, at Rice University.
Academic year meetings: 7 hours each month, to be scheduled at Rice and in Spring.
Beyond the training, the REDE program will provide specific benefits to teachers:
- Stipends for participation in workshops and meetings;
- Books and materials for the workshop and meetings;
- Instructional resources for teaching engineering design activities;
- Grants for materials to incorporate design activities into the classroom, or to improve a teacher's skills and knowledge;
- Travel grants to attend local teaching conferences;
- Payment to schools for substitute teachers to facilitate participant attendance at meetings;
- Continuing Education credit under State of Texas CPE # 101513 and GTI certification; and
- Access to online resources to improve classroom implementation and to develop a community of practice and support.
You must be an in-service middle school teacher from a public, charter, or private Texas school. While our education partner is Spring ISD, teachers from other districts may apply and participate. We will only enroll teams of teachers (two or more) from a school who have the active support of their principal. Teams can be composed of science and mathematics teachers.
There is no cost to participants. EDMSS is funded by the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board through the Teacher Quality Grants Program.
Use the form under the right-hand tab above to apply to the program. For questions or additional information, email Dr. Young..