Georgia Southern University


Preparation lectures: 

Georgia Southern engineering faculty will offer 7 teaching modules to introduce ENERGY participants to the research topics. Based on their background and research interests, ENERGY participants will attend at least two of the first seven lectures listed below (a-g) when they enter the program. Laboratory Safety and Technical Writing modules are required for all ENERGY participants. These preparation modules will take place before the proposed research projects. The participants, through the preparation modules below will be exposed to the various research topics as well as introduced to measuring equipment, techniques, and data acquisition.


In the first two weeks, all participants will have an orientation stage and will rotate through each of the five proposed research modules where they will work with each research team to learn the equipment, instruments, and software relevant to the various modules. Each morning, the participants will attend two hours of preparation lectures, seminars, and workshops  to develop skills in research methods and technical writing followed by a two-hour collaboration session with the various participants related to their chosen research project. Participants will be exposed to draft reporting, curriculum development, project planning, management and self-evaluation in a laboratory environment. In the afternoon, they will perform experiments for their research project in the laboratory. This structure will develop participants’ conceptual understanding related to their chosen project and develop their laboratory research skills. In this way, all of the participants will get an overview of the research before committing to a single track, which will broaden their horizons and encourage them to draw connections between projects and disciplines. In consultation and under supervision of a research faculty mentor, and in cooperation with graduate and undergraduates students, participants in groups of two will develop a research plan and single project schedule, delineating their expected contribution to the research team on an active research project . Participants in teams will develop a single project that fits their school’s interests and capabilities. The interaction between participants and research faculty will be beneficial to both parties who are from diverse ethnic and cultural backgrounds.

A two hour Energy Education session will be held each Friday where the participants will be introduced to authentic teaching practices, including problem-based and place-based learning methods for teaching 21st century reasoning through an energy context, and employing the Understanding by Design assessment framework to create conceptually driven performance tasks for their classrooms. Throughout the program, they will make research-related field visits to industrial and government laboratories and participate in organized extracurricular activities. They will write and deliver bi-monthly progress reports on their research topic leading to the development of a final report related to the course of study. They will also submit an educational implementation plan. At the end of the program, they will present a summary of their work to their colleagues and faculty that will be displayed in the annual Undergraduate Research Symposium at GS. Participants, in cooperation with GS STEM faculty, will be encouraged to submit their research projects in the form of technical papers to peer-reviewed scientific journals and/or conferences as well as higher education and K-12 education conferences focused on STEM education.

Week Topic Covered Title of Session
1  Laboratory Safety and Technical Writing modules Preparation Lectures
2 Introduction to Authentic Learning and Backward Design – overview Begin with the end first.
3 Complex Adaptive Systems The What, Why’s, and How’s in a Classroom setting
4 Computational Reasoning Please don’t make me do Math
5 Engineering Design Design and build a Rube Goldberg machine around renewable energy.
6 Model-Based Reasoning Are we playing with Legos?
7 Authentic Learning in Your High School What do you want to do with this project?
8 Backward Design Module/Lesson Plan Determine what students should know. Develop a hypothesis, essential questions, and begin a plan. Develop a performance task


ENERGY will provide academic year support for implementation of the renewable learning modules in the participants’ classrooms. Engineering faculty, undergraduate and graduate students, serving as ENERGY Ambassadors, will collaborate with project participants on classroom implementation. The ambassadors will provide consulting on development of teaching materials, co-teach the energy related module, and collaborate with the project coordinator on evaluation of the educational modules. An ENERGY Ambassador Symposium will focus on energy education teaching strategies as well as techniques for collaborating with participants.

Last updated: 11/21/2016

Mechanical Engineering • PO Box 8046 Statesboro, GA 30460 • (912) 478-5761