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Wyoming Educators to Attend Engineering Workshops at UW

July 8, 2016

A newly developed program will introduce Wyoming educators to engineering concepts next week at the University of Wyoming.

Hosted by the College of Engineering and Applied Science and College of Education, the inaugural Engineering Summer Program for Teachers takes place on the UW campus.

Serving 48 teachers from around the state, the first session is July 13-15, with additional workshops to follow. College of Engineering and Applied Science K-14 Program Coordinator Teddi Hofmann says the program is designed to support teachers in incorporating engineering into their curricula.

“We are excited for the arrival of the participants and look forward to working with them to foster creativity and innovation in the classroom,” Hofmann says.

The pilot program focuses on electrical and computer engineering. Participants will learn how to build and program electronic projects based on the arduino, a widely used microcontroller for beginning and advanced users. Beyond gaining knowledge and experience with simple circuits, electronic components and basic programming, participants will develop classroom projects that address specific education standards and apply to the classes they teach.

The only requirement for participants is “an excitement for learning, an imagination for dreaming up cool projects and a desire to bring engineering to the classroom,” Hofmann says.

Due to overwhelming interest, two programs will be offered. The first session is July 13-15 at UW, followed by a session Oct. 16 in Casper and another in Laramie Feb. 25. The second program is at UW July 20-22, with two follow-up workshops with dates and locations to be announced. Registration for all the sessions is closed.

Each participant will be awarded $1,500 to be divided into two payments, with lodging and meals provided. Materials for classroom implementation also will be provided.

In a separate event July 14, the College of Engineering and Applied Science will host a group of high school guidance counselors to educate them about the abundant opportunities available at UW. The daylong event will feature staff and faculty members from the college, along with technical demonstrations for the counselors in attendance.

Event facilitators from the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering include Professor Suresh Muknahallipatna, Associate Professor Robert F. Kubichek, Associate Lecturer Jeffrey Anderson and Hofmann. The goal of the workshop is to educate the counselors about the undergraduate opportunities and research activities in engineering at UW.

The counselors will have a chance to meet with several college personnel, including Dean Michael Pishko, who will provide an introduction.

The pilot program focuses on electrical and computer engineering. Participants will learn how to build and program electronic projects based on the arduino. Participants also will learn how to program a raspberry pi, a low-cost, credit card-sized computer that enables people of all ages to explore computing, and to learn how to program in languages including Python and Scratch.

Individual departments from the college will highlight their fields with demonstrations from 10:15-11:50 a.m. The Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering will take the lead in demonstrations, including robotic capabilities, sensors and visualizations, and unmanned aerial vehicles, from 2:30-4 p.m.

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