Engaging Youth through Engineering (EYE) Modules: Integrating and Bringing Relevance to Core Middle Grades Mathematics and Science Content

Presenters: Susan Pruet, Melissa Dean, and Judy Duke
In this interactive session, participants learn about an instructional model that uses engineering to support an integrated and engaging approach for teaching standards-based, middle-grades mathematics and science content. Participants are introduced to one EYE module, “Matter of Importance,” as an example of how integrated STEM curricula can help students to bridge the content as taught in the typical mathematics and science silos versus the complex understanding of content required for application in industry.

Susan Pruet, Director of Engaging Youth through Engineering, Mobile Area Education Foundation
Susan Pruet has been actively involved in STEM education as a teacher, teacher educator, and director of reform initiatives for more than 30 years. Since 1998, she has directed two STEM reform initiatives for the Mobile Area Education Foundation (MAEF): the Maysville Mathematics Initiative and, most recently, Engaging Youth through Engineering (EYE), a K–12 workforce development and STEM initiative in Mobile, Ala. Both initiatives involve valuable partnerships with the Mobile County Public School System, the University of South Alabama, and area business and industry. Pruet has served on a number of education boards and committees. As vice chairperson of the Alabama Mathematics, Science, Technology, and Engineering Coalition (AMSTEC), she has worked for systemic change in STEM education. She also served on the Executive Board for the American Society of Engineering Educators’ (ASEE) K–12 Division. Recently, Change the Equation, a non-partisan, CEO-led commission focused on mobilizing business committees to improve the quality of STEM learning in America, recognized the Engaging Youth through Engineering modules as one of Change the Equation’s STEMWorks Programs. Pruet received her undergraduate degree in Mathematics from Birmingham-Southern College, her master’s degree in Secondary Education from the University of Alabama, Birmingham, and her PhD in Mathematics Education from Auburn University.

Melissa Dean, Assistant Director of Engaging Youth through Engineering, Mobile Area Education Foundation
Melissa Dean serves as assistant director of the Engaging Youth through Engineering (EYE) Program at the Mobile Area Education Foundation. In that capacity, she has coordinated the development and implementation of a series of STEM modules for middle school grades that truly integrate science, technology, engineering and mathematics learning in the classroom. Dean is an experienced science educator, having led the development of informal curricula and programs for science centers in Alabama and Louisiana for many years. In addition, she has helped lead STEM curriculum development programs, conducted pilot engineering design lessons, and provided STEM professional development for all middle school teachers in the 17 middle schools in the Mobile County Public School System. Dean received her BS from Louisiana State University in Shreveport and is currently working toward her graduate degree in Instructional Design and Development at the University of South Alabama in Mobile.

Judy Duke, Engaging Youth through Engineering (EYE) Middle Grades Coordinator, Mobile Area Education Foundation
Judy Duke is a retired elementary and middle-grades classroom teacher. She is currently working for the Mobile Area Education Foundation as a member of the EYE Modules’ writing team and as the middle grades coordinator of EYE, a K–12 STEM initiative centered on workforce development. Duke served as a master teacher for the Southeastern Consortium for Minorities in Engineering (SECME) Summer Institute for two years and as a middle-grades mathematics coach for the Mobile Mathematics Initiative for four years. She received an undergraduate degree in Elementary Education from Mobile College and a master’s degree in Middle School Mathematics Education from the University of South Alabama.