Work in Progress - Tailoring Optics Resources for K-5 Pre-college Outreach

Theresa M. Swift, Missouri University of Science and Technology
Steve Eugene Watkins, Missouri University of Science and Technology

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Pre-college instruction in science, technology, Engineering; and mathematics (STEM) is critical to preparing a workforce and citizens for a technology-based society. The K-5 years are especially important to creating interest and instilling basic concepts. Engineering-based pre-college outreach can provide useful resources in the K- 5 education classroom. However, interaction among K-5 teachers and STEM professionals is more effective if outreach is tailored to the K-5 environment. In particular, resources and outreach should accommodate K-5 assessment standards, level-appropriate concept definition, and grade continuity. This work uses a set of optics resources as an example of tailored outreach. Example lessons and activities illustrate pedagogy appropriate for the unique K-5 education environment, e.g. auditory, visual, and "kinesthetic" components, concept definition, terminology, and grade continuity. Optical engineering topics are related to Missouri science standards, STEM relevance and inquiry, and measurement activities.