Jess & Mildred Fisher College of 
			 Science & Mathematics


Promoting Engineering Education in Elementary Schools and Clubs — The PEEESC Program

The Summer Engineering and Science Club at the Havre de Grace Unit of the Boys & Girls Clubs of Harford County

2009 SEAS Club: Electrical Engineering

Ten participants entering grades three through five learned about basic circuitry and electrical engineering in the 2009 SEAS Club. In addition, two children who participated in the 2008 SEAS Club, but who aged out of the program for 2009, served as SEAS leaders, assisting with equipment preparation and other aspects of the club. Club participants received over 10 hours of instructional time over the course of 5 weeks.

Dr. Lottero-Perdue and Participants in SEAS Club
A SEAS Club participant explains to Dr. Lottero-Perdue and others in the club how a switch works in a simple circuit.
Dr. Lottero-Perdue used her own instructional methods to teach basic circuitry, and used the EiE unit,
  • An Alarming Idea: Designing Alarm Circuits,
  • as the core of the SEAS Club program. The unit culminated in the children designing their own first class lever switch that when activated by the release of weight on one end, completed a circuit that lit a light and sounded an alarm.

    Children received three tradebooks by the end of the SEAS Club program. One of those was about building basic circuits at home, and was accompanied by a kit of electrical equipment (bulbs, sockets, switch, wires, etc.). The other books introduced children to electrical energy generation via solar and water power.

    SEAS Club leaders test their own alarm circuit design
    SEAS Club leaders test their own alarm circuit design before helping others.

    As with the 2008 program, the 2009 SEAS Club ended with the “Design Share,” an event where parents, board members, and others can see the products of the children’s work throughout the summer.

    Exelon Science & Engineering Library

    An additional SEAS Club contribution to the Boys & Girls Club this year was the Exelon Science & Engineering Library. Funding from the Exelon Corporation was initially intended to fund an early elementary SEAS Club, as well as the late elementary club described above. With few young children attending the BGC in 2009, an early elementary SEAS Club was not possible.

    Sarah Carroll and SEAS Club Participants
    Elementary education major and volunteer teaching assistant for the SEAS club, Sara Carroll,
    helps SEAS Club participants draw circuits using conventional circuit symbols.

    Dr. Lottero-Perdue modified her proposal to Exelon, requesting that early elementary club funds be used instead to build a library of science and engineering books for the Boys & Girls Clubs of Harford County to use during free reading time. This request was granted, and the Exelon Science & Engineering Library was created. Approximately 70 books and 5 science movies are available there for student use. The library is currently housed at the Havre de Grace unit, yet transportable to other Boys & Girls Clubs of Harford County to inspire and excite young readers.

    The Project team consisted of:

    • Dr. Pamela S. Lottero-Perdue, Principal Investigator and Lead Teacher
    • Ms. Sara Carroll, Volunteer Teaching Assistant
    and partners within the Harford County Boys & Girls Clubs.

    The 2009 SEAS Club and Science & Engineering Library was funded by a generous donation from the Exelon Corporation, and supplemented with contributions from the Towson University Faculty Fellowship program and the Department of Physics, Astronomy & Geosciences. It was further supported by the volunteer time and efforts of Dr. Lottero-Perdue.

    The PEEESC Program is directed by:
    Dr. Pamela S. Lottero-Perdue
    Department of Physics, Astronomy and Geosciences
    Towson University
    410-704-4598
    plottero@towson.edu

     

    The Jess and Mildred Fisher
    College of Science and Mathematics
    Smith Hall, Room 312 (campus map)
    Phone: 410-704-2121
    Fax: 410-704-2604
    E-mail: fcsm@towson.edu



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