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NSF Awards EAGER Grant To Virginia Tech
October 24, 2012

The National Science Foundation (NSF) awarded Virginia Tech an EArly-concept Grant for Exploratory Research (EAGER). The new grant will be used to explore innovative ways to incorporate engineering literacy into the general education curriculum.

The $295,000 award will provide two years of funding. The current year will be dedicated to curriculum planning, and a pilot project will be launched next year. At the end of the second year, NSF will evaluate the project’s results to determine if additional money, potentially millions of dollars, will be provided to continue the project long-term.

“Virginia Tech is a leader in the science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) fields,” said Daniel A. Wubah, vice president for undergraduate education, deputy provost, and principal investigator for this grant. “While most students are exposed to science and math in general education courses, engineering has not traditionally been included. Because of the strength of engineering education at Virginia Tech, it is logical to make it part of the core education of all our STEM majors and non-majors as well.”

The project’s goal is to strengthen STEM education at Virginia Tech, for those within STEM majors and non-majors as well, particularly focused on early exposure to and development of evidence-based engineering design-based teaching, supported by integrated technology tools.

The project is a product of the work of Wubah and four other faculty members representing a diverse set of offices and responsibilities on campus: Stephanie Adams, professor and head of the Department of Engineering Education; Gardner Campbell, director of professional development and innovative initiatives in the Department of Learning Technologies; Peter Doolittle, executive director of the Center for Instructional Development and Educational Research; and Ray Van Dyke, executive director of the Office of Assessment and Evaluation.

At the end of the first year, data and the curriculum plan will be shared with the Virginia Tech community to provide feedback before the pilot project is launched.

This story can be found on the Virginia Tech News website.

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