November 19, 2010


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By Kathryn Kopchik

LEWISBURG, Pa. — Bucknell University will host the Fifth annual Engineering and Science Education Expo — or "Gizmo Expo" — on Monday, Dec. 6, from 7 to 9 p.m. in Larison Dining Hall at Bucknell. || Podsquad video || Engineering 100

More than 50 teams of students in elementary education and engineering classes will share inquiry-based teaching units and gizmos designed to teach science and engineering concepts — including motion, force, electricity, magnetism, chemistry and structural engineering and construction — to students in kindergarten to eighth grade.

Designing a collaborative effort
Students in Assistant Professor of Education Lori Smolleck's Science as Inquiry class research the applicable Pennsylvania Science and Technology Standards and interpret them in preparation for their first meetings with engineering students.They also provide information about the developmental needs and abilities of K-8 students.

In addition, the education students provide an overview about inquiry-based teaching and learning. With that information, engineering students create prototypes for the "gizmos." These prototypes are reviewed by engineering and teacher teams and refined to ensure that they will engage students in an interactive way.

"The 'Gizmo Expo' allows participants to watch the gizmos in action, talk to the students who designed them, and learn about how it all works," said Margot Vigeant, associate professor of engineering at Bucknell.

Heat transfer, water cycles and more
"This year, we've got gizmos designed to teach students and Scouts in a wide range of concept areas and skill levels. We have gizmos on friction for first-graders up to devices on the Bernoulli equation for middle-schoolers. There will be something for everyone," Vigeant said.

"The event is appropriate for teachers and volunteers looking for ideas as well as supervised children in the appropriate age range. All gizmos and inquiry-based teaching units will be given away to interested educators, leaders and volunteers at the end of the evening."

Gizmos / Teaching Units will address the following educational areas:

·      PA Teaching Standards for Elementary Education in Science and Technology (3.4.4.A, 3.4.4.B, 3.4.4.C, 3.6.4.C, 3.7.7.C).

·      Cub Scout Webelos 2 "Engineer" and "Scientist" activity requirements. Note these significantly overlap with Junior Girl Scout Requirements for similar topic areas and are appropriate to fill those badge requirements as well.

Scout troops are asked to register in advance with Vigeant via e-mail at mvigeant@bucknell.edu or by calling 570-577-1646.

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