K-12 Outreach

University of Washington

Department of Electrical Engineering

Important links to Other K-12 Programs in Engineering:
Aeronautics & Astronautics
Computer Science and Eng
NSF Prime Program

For more information, please contact:
Denise Wilson
Assistant Professor
M222 EE/CSE Bldg.
Box 352500
University of Washington
Seattle, WA 98195

Howard Chizeck, Department Chair and Professor
Denise Wilson, K-12 Coordinator and Assistant Professor
Bill Harris, Administrative Coordinator

The K-12 program in the department of electrical engineering seeks to engage both faculty and students in volunteer outreach activities associated with direct interactions with students at K-12 grade levels in the state of Washington. The mission of the K-12 program is to engage interest and facilitate the development of learning skills specifically associated with engineering fields.

The four phases of this mission include:
(a) direct outreach to students
(b) teacher training activities
(c) modification of learning activities to match current learning theories
(d) kit development for transfer of learning activities to schools

The goals of the K-12 program are to:

    (1) Facilitate the development of learning skills at K-5 grade levels necessary for success and interest in engineering fields, with particular emphasis on electrical engineering.

    (2) Encourage interest in engineering at 6-8 grade levels where students are most likely to lose interest (permanently) in science and engineering-related fields.

    (3) Encourage the selection of the University of Washington as an undergraduate institution for high school students with stated interests in engineering fields.

Our Learning Activities are described further in the Following Links:

Elementary School Outreach
Middle School Outreach
High School Outreach

These learning activities are focused in different areas for various grade levels:

    Grades K-5: Our activities consist of a coherent package of six learning activities engaged in communicating the fundamentals of electricity and computers and the fundamentals of natural vs. artificial sensors in a visual, interactive, and experiment-based manner. The emphasis in all demonstrations is in overcoming abstract thinking obstacles in K-5 cognition. The core of our strategy to overcoming abstract thinking limitations is in using biology and associated principles as a bridge between the intuitive natural sciences and the less intuitive physical sciences.

    Grades 6-8: A range of learning activities directed at learning How things Work are targeted at these grade levels. Since the research in student growth indicates that most children become disenchanted with engineering and physical science in middle school, it is important to deliver both the excitement of engineering and the understandable nature of the underlying concepts at these grade levels.

    Grades 9-12: The focus of our efforts at this level are to attract students to the University of Washington over other college choices through open house activities, Career days and similar activities.

    Our 2000 Career Day was a great success - click here for more info.

Please be patient with us. This page is under construction.

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