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Experience Engineering!

Tests of Engineering Aptitude, Mathematics, and Science (TEAMS) is an annual competition for middle and high school students designed to help them discover their potential for engineering.

During this one-day competition, students apply math and science knowledge in practical, creative ways to solve real-world engineering challenges.

TEAMS sparks excitement by:

  • Providing an integrated STEM learning experience
  • Allowing students a unique inside look at problem solving from an engineer’s viewpoint
  • Increasing students’ self-confidence in solving complex problems while working on a team
  • Inspiring students to consider engineering majors and careers

The 2015 TEAMS competition, “The Power of Engineering,” explored the relationship between energy and engineering. Scenario topics included biofuel, electricity, nuclear and solar energy.

Engineering byDesign™ – New Jersey Initiative

Featured in TCNJ Magazine: Creating a National Model for High School STEM Education

Engineering byDesign™ is a non-profit, standards-based, comprehensive, national curriculum model for STEM education. Developed by ITEEA’s (International Technology and Engineering Educators Association) STEM Center for Teaching & Learning, EbD™ was developed using research on factors that underlie effective teaching and learning of STEM disciplines. EbD™ is correlated to the Standards for Technological Literacy (ITEA), the Principles and Standards for School Mathematics (NCTM), and Project 2061, Benchmarks for Science Literacy (AAAS).

Other national STEM curriculum models, such as Project Lead the Way, can be restrictive regarding which students may take their courses; only the top science and math students are eligible. EbD™ provides opportunities for students of all ability levels to increase achievement in STEM areas. Moreover, one of the greatest advantages EbD™  is its cost effectiveness. For what a single school would pay to purchase Project Lead the Way curriculum, every middle and high school in NJ can have access to any EbD™ course, resource, assessment and training.

The activities within the EbD™ curriculum are flexible and can be adapted to any lab or classroom, from modest to elaborate, and using any range of materials, from inexpensive or recycled to sophisticated and new. EbD™ activities can be aligned to pre-existing curricular themes within a STEM program or academy. Teachers even have the option of substituting their own activities within EbD™ units, as long as those teacher-developed activities meet the same benchmarks as the EbD™ activities.

There are currently 22 states that have joined the EbD™ Consortium, offering its curriculum and resources for free to every school in their state. Coincidentally, most of the Consortium States happen to have the highest membership for the Technology Student Association (TSA). NJ is currently eighth in the nation for TSA membership. The top seven TSA states are currently part of the EbD™ Consortium. Additionally, EbD™ is currently exploring a partnership with National TSA to develop companion curricular materials to the National TSA Competitive Events Guide. Implementation of EbD™ in a school could potentially facilitate increased TSA membership.

All EbD™ curricular materials, resources and assessments are available on a unique, web-based, professional learning community in which teachers all over the country collaborate, share resources, post student work samples and dedicate themselves to improving their instruction.

Future Engineers of Trenton Program at the Boys and Girls Clubs of Trenton and Mercer County

United States colleges and universities are graduating fewer individuals with science, technology and engineering degrees.  Within those ranks, very few of the graduates come from inner cities.

The Future Engineers of Trenton program is a partnership between The College of New Jersey and The Boys & Girls Club of Trenton/Mercer County.  The program provides an exploration of science, math and technology concepts as they relate to engineering and related careers such as solar design, urban planning, theme park design and wastewater management.

Building on the success and interest generated by the Children Designing & Engineering elementary program, funded by the Edison Venture Fund in 2004. Future Engineers is the next installment of after-school and summer camp programs, also funded by the Edison Venture Fund, designed for Trenton youth.  Future Engineers provides funding for the next three years to continue the development and cultivation of science and engineering knowledge among Trenton middle school students.

Future Engineers also places a major emphasis on professional development for Trenton School District teachers and provides an opportunity for pre-service TCNJ students to carry out field experiences, coursework and independent studies at our Future Engineers sites.

For more information, please contact Susan Harrison, Program Manager, at 609-771-2948 or sharriso@tcnj.edu.

TQE-R

In collaboration with the New Jersey Department of Education, The New Jersey Teacher Quality Enhancement Recruitment (TQE-R) grant was awarded.  This $3.3 million initiative addresses the need to recruit and retain highly qualified teachers in high poverty, low achieving schools, particularly in the hard to staff areas of math and science. Research indicates that to deal with teacher shortages in at risk schools, strategies are needed across the continuum of professional practice -from pre-service through ongoing professional learning in order to retain teachers once recruited into high risk schools. New Jersey’s TQE-R grant proposal implements strategies across this continuum in its three strands: Recruitment for High Need Districts; Preparation for High Need District Teaching; and Induction and Professional Learning in High Need Districts.  Working in partnership with The College of New Jersey and three high-poverty, low performing school districts (Trenton Public Schools, Pemberton Public Schools and Vineland Public Schools), the New Jersey Department of Education builds on its strong teacher quality reform platform and the positive historical relationships of all partners involved in the project. In Strand One, the project implements targeted, high-impact recruitment strategies for high need districts including web based recruitment services for urban districts; incentives for high-need district placement; and new technology based practices to reverse slow-moving hiring and credentialing processes. Strand Two tailors pre-service program offerings in traditional and alternate routes to the needs of candidates who will teach in high-need districts. In the third strand, strategies promote strong induction and professional learning in all three high need districts. This grant project helps New Jersey to integrate powerful new recruitment and retention strategies for high need districts into its overall educational reform effort to improve education of all of New Jersey’s students.

NJ Hire

The New Jersey Department of Education has a newly designed recruitment web site that is part of NJHire.com. This site features a new set of media marketing and recruitment software piloted in four school districts: Ewing, Pemberton, Trenton, and Vineland. NJHire’s new look and added dimension are the result of a $3.3 million grant project, Teacher Quality Enhancement-Recruitment (TQE-R), funded by the U.S. Department of Education in cooperation with the New Jersey Department of Education and The College of New Jersey’s School of Education. USteach, Inc., a national Web-based system for the recruitment and placement of educators, developed the new software and was the original developer of NJHire. This software allows the four pilot districts to display videos with greetings from their superintendents along with school district and local community highlights to capture the interests of job applicants. Podcasts from the pilot districts provide information about instructional programs, staff benefits, and interactive maps unique to each district. Each district can easily insert, update, or remove its videos, podcasts, banners and texts by using the simple but powerful software tools. The software contains a large set of personalized, web-based tools for job candidates.  An applicant can create one profile and use it for multiple portfolios and applications.

New Jersey Future Educators Association

The first New Jersey Future Educators Association (FEA) Conference was held at the College of New Jersey on May 23, 2008. Three hundred high school students who aspire to become teachers attended this program. Students attended a panel discussion with three distinguished, award-winning New Jersey teachers. The keynote address focused on the Urban Calling: Saving Americas Most Important Schools. Students had an opportunity to attend three break-out sessions from over thirty selections that were offered as part of this conference. Emphasis was placed on attracting students to urban education and/or high shortage subject areas such as math, science, special education, and world languages. A special workshop for NJFEA advisors was offered. Funding for the NJFEA Conference was provided by a Teacher Quality Enhancement-Recruitment (TQE-R) Grant and the New Jersey Department of Education in cooperation with the College of New Jersey’s School of Education.

Tomorrow’s Teachers

In June 2008, teachers from forty-five New Jersey high schools participated in three days of training at the College of New Jersey to implement an exciting elective course, Tomorrow’s Teachers. This course, developed by the Center for Education, Recruitment, Retention, and Advancement (CERRA) in South Carolina is currently used in twenty-three states to attract talented high school students to pursue rewarding teaching careers. This course is taught for a minimum of one class period a day for a year or the equivalent amount of time in contact hours. It includes three themes: Experiencing the Learner, Experiencing the Profession, and Experiencing the Classroom. A variety of hands-on activities and strong focus on observations and field experiences are provided. Emphasis is placed in critical shortage subject areas such as math, science, and special education. Additional trainings are being planned in June of 2009. Funding for Tomorrow’s Teachers is provided by a Teacher Quality Enhancement-Recruitment (TQE-R) Grant in cooperation with the New Jersey Department of Education and the College of New Jersey’s School of Education.

Urban Teacher Academy

The College of New Jersey’s Urban Teacher Academy (UTA) is a two week intensive summer program offered to high school juniors interested in pursuing careers in urban education and/or high shortage subject areas such as math, science, special education, world languages, bilingual, and English as a Second Language (ESL). This program recruits and encourages today’s students to become tomorrow’s teachers as a strategy toward resolving current and anticipated teacher shortages in hard-to-staff schools. Over one hundred and twenty students from twenty-six high schools have participated in the UTA since July of 2006. Students attend lectures with distinguished TCNJ faculty and area educators, engage in thought provoking discussions, experience exciting field trips to urban schools and community agencies, undertake an urban community service project, and try their hands at teaching a math, science, and physical education lesson to area elementary summer campers. UTA student recruitment begins in the late fall where the UTA coordinator makes presentations and works with guidance counselors, teachers, and administrators to identify students who aspire to become teachers. Student admission to the UTA is based on grades, writing samples, recommendations, and interviews upon request. The UTA provides support and financial aid information to students who seek admission to collegiate teacher preparation programs. Funding for the UTA has been provided by a Teacher Quality Enhancement-Recruitment (TQE-R) Grant in cooperation with the New Jersey Department of Education and the College of New Jersey’s School of Education.

TIES Magazine

TIES Magazine is a free on-line magazine that supports elementary, middle school and high school teachers with information on design, technology, mathematics, pre-engineering and science. TIES is supported solely through advertising.

Family Tools and Technology

The FTT program is a gender equity, award winning after-school parental involvement program that focuses on technological design and problem solving while supporting the application of mathematics and scientific principles.  FTT activities are especially appropriate for girls and boys in grades 3-7 and include their parents/guardians who participate in the after-school program with their children.

E-Mentoring

Mentoring is an important ingredient in retaining new teachers.  In New Jersey, state education code requires that all first year teachers receive face to face mentoring to promote personal and professional growth.  Policymakers recently enacted the New Jersey Mentoring for Quality Initiative to enhance the quality of mentoring programs, better support novice teachers, and increase retention.  In cooperation with NJ Department of Education, we developed and tested a blended mentoring model, extending traditional mentoring by adding electronic communication.  Use of controlled experimentation blended mentoring was introduced to pre-service teachers enrolled in a junior practicum.  Online communication of this type produced many benefits.  Pre-service teachers who received supplemental online mentoring wrote better science and math lessons, and scored significantly higher in efficacy than their peers who did not. Results of the study will be used to inform state educational policymakers about multiple mentoring options.

IJIMS

Faculty from Computer Science and Journalism/Professional Writing collaborate with a gender/equity specialist on a demonstration project at our institution to broaden participation in computing through students’ exposure to the emerging field of interactive journalism.

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