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NSF  Engineering Education Awardees Conference -March 4-6, 2012 -  Arlington, Virginia

At last year's NSF EEC Awardees Conference, participants met in facilitated panels to discuss advances and challenges in various issues in engineering education, with a focus on NSF's role in moving forward. From these panels, facilitators have produced a report that summarizes discussion points.

This year, NSF wants to hear back from you again. Representatives of the NSF will open the conference by addressing the points made in this report and what kinds of responses are possible. Then, in addition to the sharing of research via poster sessions and program-centered meetings, we will hold panels that again bring our range of researchers, practitioners, and NSF officers together to continue the dialogue.

To discuss impacts of NSF efforts to grow the field of engineering education, panels will focus on the topics below and address questions such as: What is NSF doing right? What could NSF do better? What unintended consequences (positive or negative) have emerged? How should we go forward?

  1. Providing a just education for all students: What does access to an engineering education for all students mean? How can we achieve this goal? What are the philosophical underpinnings of commonly cited reports such as Rising Above the Gathering Storm and the Engineer of 2020, and do they help us achieve access?
  2. Preparing Innovators: How should we as engineering educators operationalize innovation given its current status as a buzzword? How can we identify the next generation of innovators, and shape curricula to support future innovators?
  3. Building Value Propositions: Does engineering education really have any value to faculty in traditional engineering departments? Can engineering education research address national as well as local needs? How can PIs build compelling value propositions into proposals enabling NSF to incentivize large-scale change?
  4. Laying a Foundation for Future Graduate Student Success: How should engineering education graduate students actively ensure they are employable and universities perceive their value? What more could NSF do to support graduate students beyond the Graduate Research Fellowship Program and funding research proposals?
  5. Supporting Undergraduate Research: Key issues include challenges of creating successful REUs, the importance of training and supporting faculty mentors, and opportunities for undergraduate research beyond summer programs.
  6. Developing Pre-college Outreach: Key issues include helping Outreach, particularly to P-12 schools, become a primary consideration in STEM education, encouraging institutions to collaborate rather than compete in Outreach efforts, engaging and preparing pre-college educators, and effective strategies for marketing Outreach programs
  7. The Larger Context of Engineering Education: Engineering education exists within larger economic, social, and technical systems. How do these systems impact our research and practice? Can we adapt to or, better, leverage these larger influences to enhance the impact of our research? What future trends should all PIs be aware of?
  8. Visually Representing the Engineering Education System: How can one represent the engineering education system? Participants will be asked to create a visual representation, or engineering diagram, of the engineering education system, then identify where their research interfaces with or impacts this system.

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