Keynote Speakers

 


 

Elizabeth (Liz) Parry

 

Bio: Liz Parry is a mechanical engineer with broad experience in industry and education.  After a decade at IBM Corporation, Liz started a science education business with a friend and then went to work at the College of Engineering at North Carolina State University.  For the last fifteen years, she has directed grants focused on K-20 STEM and engineering from the National Science Foundation, the National Institutes of Health and the U.S. Department of Education.   Over the years, Liz has mentored hundreds of K-12, undergraduate and graduate students in engineering and science.  In addition, she has worked with K-12 teachers throughput the United States to empower and equip them to implement engineering principles in their classrooms. Liz’s passion for and enjoyment of engineering is tangible, and this has made her a frequent speaker and presenter.  She has authored or coauthored over 35 papers on K-20 engineering education and has presented her work at numerous conferences in the United States and Canada as well as the World Engineering Education Forum in Buenos Aires.  Liz has been named one of the Nifty Fifty, a group cited by the USA Science and Engineering Festival as individuals who have made a major impact on the field of engineering.  She is a member of the American Society of Engineering Education, where she recently completed a two-year term as the chair of the 800 member K-12 and Precollege Division.  Liz was recently named chair of the ASEE Long Range Planning committee on K-12 Education for ASEE.  She is a member of the board of directors at the Triangle Coalition for STEM Education, the STEM Consortium and the American Society of Mechanical Engineering’s K-12 Advisory group.

Keynote session description: Engineering is a natural tool for integrating subjects in the classroom.  Using the engineering design process to solve real world problems, teachers and students learn and apply content while being highly engaged. Through engineering design, students experience collaboration, make decisions based on data and experience failure and recover from it!  ALE Participants will experience K-12 engineering through a series of integrated and iterative hands-on activities that address science, math, social studies and language arts content while utilizing the engineering habits of mind of communication, collaboration, ethical considerations, creativity, optimism and systems thinking.

 


 

Erik de Graaff

Bio: Erik de Graaff is trained as psychologist and holds a PhD in social sciences. He has been working with Problem Based learning (PBL) in Maastricht from 1979 till 1980. In 1994 he was appointed as associate professor in the field of educational innovation at the Faculty of Technology Policy and Management of Delft University of Technology. Dr. de Graaff has been a visiting professor at the University of Newcastle, Australia in 1995 and a guest professor at Aalborg University in Denmark. The collaboration with Aalborg University led to an appointment as full professor at the department of Development and Planning in 2011. Dr. de Graaff is recognized as an international expert on PBL. He contributed to the promotion of knowledge and understanding of higher engineering education with numerous publications and through participation in professional organizations like SEFI, IFEES and ALE. He has published over 200 articles and papers and he has presented more than 70 keynotes and invited lectures on various topics related to PBL in higher education, like Working with PBL, Management of change, Assessment and evaluation, Methods of applied research and Collaboration between university and industry. Since January 2008 he is Editor-in-Chief of the European Journal of Engineering Education.

Keynote session description: Continuing the discourse on activating research - In this keynote Erik de Graaff and Michael Christie continue the discourse that they started in Copenhagen in 2012. At that ALE workshop they proposed a philosophical basis for doing research on active learning in engineering education. In the 2014 workshop they will begin interactively by asking participants to write down a research question that they are interested in researching. The question should be closely related to the participant's own teaching and learning and naturally can be expressed in his or her own language. In pairs, or small groups of the same language speakers, the questions will be refined and categorized and reported back in English to the plenary. The earlier finishers can start to discuss how they would go about answering the questions. Michael and Erik will then help categorize the questions/issues/problems and give examples of how the most representative questions can be addressed. This will be done by specifying how the data needed to answer the question can be collected (the research methods), what methodology best guides the use of specified methods, the theoretical perspective that is most appropriate for that methodology and the epistemology or philosophy that best underpins the research perspective, methodology and methods. Given time limitations the presenters will continue the conversation that they began in Copenhagen by arguing for a few of the most suitable research frameworks for ALE research projects.


 

Michael Christie

 

Bio: From 1999 to 2012 Michael Christie worked in Sweden, first at Chalmers University of Technology in Gothenburg, where he was in charge of a teaching and learning centre, and then from 2010 at Stockholm University, where he was Sweden's first Professor of Higher Education. During that time he has been an active member of ALE and served on the advisory committee. Michael's research is concerned with fundamental epistemological questions such as how knowledge is built and the best ways of promoting learning in engineering and higher education. He is also interested in the most pedagogical ways of using digital tools in teaching and learning. Having run courses for PhD supervisors as well as supervising and marking PhD theses, he is currently researching the most efficacious way of supporting the PhD process. His own PhD was a contact history between Aborigines and Colonists in early Victoria, 1836-1886, and he has maintained an interest in cross-cultural research. In Sweden he received substantial funding for research and development projects aimed at improving learning and teaching in Higher Education. He took up his current post at the University of the Sunshine Coast in February 2013.

Keynote session description: Continuing the discourse on activating research - In this keynote Michael Christie and Erik de Graaff continue the discourse that they started in Copenhagen in 2012. At that ALE workshop they proposed a philosophical basis for doing research on active learning in engineering education. In the 2014 workshop they will begin interactively by asking participants to write down a research question that they are interested in researching. The question should be closely related to the participant's own teaching and learning and naturally can be expressed in his or her own language. In pairs, or small groups of the same language speakers, the questions will be refined and categorized and reported back in English to the plenary. The earlier finishers can start to discuss how they would go about answering the questions. Michael and Erik will then help categorize the questions/issues/problems and give examples of how the most representative questions can be addressed. This will be done by specifying how the data needed to answer the question can be collected (the research methods), what methodology best guides the use of specified methods, the theoretical perspective that is most appropriate for that methodology and the epistemology or philosophy that best underpins the research perspective, methodology and methods. Given time limitations the presenters will continue the conversation that they began in Copenhagen by arguing for a few of the most suitable research frameworks for ALE research projects.


 

Merredith Portsmore

 

Bio: Dr. Merredith Portsmore is the Associate Director for Tufts Center for Engineering Education and Outreach. Merredith received all four of her degrees from Tufts (B.A. English, B.S. Mechanical Engineering, M.A. Education, PhD in Engineering Education). Her research interests focus on how children engage in designing and constructing solutions to engineering design problems and evaluating students’ design artifacts. Her outreach work focuses on creating resources for K-12 educators to support engineering education in the classroom. She is also the founder of STOMP,  and LEGOengineering.com.

Keynote session description:  There are many wonderful collections of activities and curricula to engage young children through college students in engineering.  However, as a field, we currently lack rich descriptions of what engineering looks like in classrooms at different ages and different levels of proficiency.  This keynote will discuss the ideas behind engineering thinking and the idea of educators as those who identify and respond to student thinking.  Dr. Portsmore will task participants with looking at video of students engage in engineering activities and “seeing” the engineering in their thinking.  Participants will talk in small groups about videos and transcripts provided by Dr. Portsmore and focus on specifying the particular discourse or activity that they identify as compelling for demonstrating engineering thinking.  After discussing videos provided by Dr. Portsmore, participants will again work in small groups to develop a learning progression for a specific aspect of engineering design thinking supported by descriptions of the classroom activity they would expect to see.  Groups will share and discussion their progressions.