AMP-IT-UP: Inspiring middle school teachers in STEM
In 2012, the NSF funded the Advanced Manufacturing and Prototyping Integrated to Unlock Potential(AMP-IT-UP) project through its Math/Science Partnership program to develop a program to increase student interest in engineering and more deeply engage students in mathematics and science. The project, a partnership between Georgia Tech and the Griffin-Spalding County Schools, developed, implemented, and assessed manufacturing-focused curriculum materials that support engaging and rigorous STEM instruction, and implemented STEM-focused enrichment activities for both students and teachers. The central outcomes were 1) a thoroughly piloted and evaluated sequence of middle school engineering (STEM-ID) courses, 2) eighteen 1-week modules for core math and science instruction, 3) an online Engineering Design Process Log, and 4) a state-wide competition that promotes invention and entrepreneurship.
Our hypothesis was that applied engineering experiences, implemented in low-risk, connections-class environments, would lead to increased engagement and self-efficacy and would positively impact academic achievement and persistence in STEM. The published AMP-IT-UP research has demonstrated unequivocally that this is correct, as participation in STEM-ID significantly benefitted both students’ math and science academic achievement and their engagement in STEM. Research also demonstrated that across grade levels and schools, students were able to transfer knowledge between their engineering and their mathematics and science courses. After initial work with one school district, AMP-IT-UP materials have now been adopted by several of the largest school systems in Georgia and increasingly by schools across the country. All materials are available for free download at https://ampitup.gatech.edu/, and scaling and professional development efforts are continuing.
NSF Awards: 1238089
Grade Level: Grades 6-8
Presented in: 2020 (see original presentation & discussion)