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Spotlight on technology and engineering education

Josh Brown and Chris Merrill with Technology Noyce Scholars

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The technology and engineering education program at Illinois State University can trace its beginnings back over 100 years. As fitting for a Normal School for Teachers, it began as the industrial arts program with a curriculum focused exclusively on teacher education for the secondary schools. The content areas included woodworking, metal working, printing, and later, automotive mechanics. Later, the program evolved into technology and engineering education.

To keep our commitment to prepare “Leaders in applied engineering, technology management, and education,” the Technology and Engineering Education Program became a trailblazer for science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) education curriculum for teachers. Our future teachers bring to the table a multitude of skill sets including graphic communications, computer systems, engineering technology, construction management, and sustainable and renewable energy. They are prepared to energize their students about the opportunities in the STEM disciplines.

The technology and engineering education program in the Department of Technology awards four undergraduate scholarships for its future teachers. In addition, there are three Department of Technology scholarships for transfer students.

Our students attend Robot Rumble, VEX State Robotics competitions, and the Illinois Design Educators Association Competition and act as mentors and judges. The students host the Illinois Technology Student Association Conference each year. They also attend and compete in student competitions at the International Technology and Engineering Education Association (ITEEA) Conference each year.

Thanks to the efforts of our faculty and a National Mathematics and Science Partnership Grant, our STEM education and leadership master’s degree was one of the first programs in the country to prepare teachers on ways to infuse science, technology, engineering, and mathematics across the curriculum. Its graduates have brought enthusiasm and new teaching skills to bring fresh new ideas to life and energize young minds about the STEM areas.

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