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Implementing Green Construction Lessons into the Classroom

Patrick Walser Dr. Luke Steinke Eastern Illinois University

Presentation Objectives

Address economic need for highly qualified employees in STEM related fields Address need for green technology Describe how green technology can boost the number of students that pursue a degree in a STEM related field Explain contextual and problem based learning with regards to green technology Describe how green technology can be implemented into secondary education construction classes

Global Technology Leaders

Georgia Institute of Technology predicts China may soon be rivaling the U.S. as the global technology leader Four indicators of study

1. 2. 3. 4.

Technological competitiveness Socioeconomic infrastructure Technological infrastructure Production capability

Toon, 2008

Chinas Capability

China is a future threat because:

Low labor wages Number of students pursuing a STEM related degree continues to increase.

In the U.S. from 1995-2004:

Employment in STEM areas increased 23% Higher Ed. STEM degrees fell from 32% to 27%

Toon, 2008 Obama for America, 2009

Open positions in STEM Areas

Predictions for a high number of technological careers to open in the next decade.
Baby boomers retiring Changing economy

Will there be enough qualified students to fill these positions?

The Research and Policy Committee of the Committee for Economic Development, 2003

How Can We Fill STEM Positions?

Increase the number of students interested in STEM related areas Get students involved with technology at a young age Focusing on new and relevant technologies. Green technology is a subject that could peak students interests in STEM related areas

What is Green Technology?

Green technology is a fast growing area of technology today. Green technology involves efficient energies, products, and processes. Green Technology could be a means to solve:

Economic: Issues related to energy sources Environmental: Air pollution (factories/vehicles) Safety Issues: Emissions/Air pollution
Interlaboratory Working Group on Energy-Efficient and Clean-Energy Technologies, 2000

Implementing Green Technology into Construction

One area in which GT can be effectively implemented into the classroom is through construction technology Within construction technology, contextual learning methods could be used to simulate the professional context in which knowledge is to be used

Contextual Learning Methods

Contextual Learning includes:

Problem-based Collaborative Project-based Service and Work-based learning

Methods grounded in the belief that learning is more effective when students are actively involved and learn in a context that the knowledge is to be used

Problem Based Learning

Most comprehensive and widely adopted contextual learning approach An instructional approach that uses real world problems as a context for students to learn critical thinking and problemsolving skills, and to acquire knowledge and essential concepts of the course

Dimension of PBL


4. 5.


Hypothetical-deductive reasoning or the scientific method, which becomes the goal for learning Development cognitive flexibility Self-directed learning Fosters collaboration skills Student centered The development of self-reflection and selfappraisal habits

PBL Dimensions in Green Technology Courses

STEM related fields require a great deal of problem-solving ability Green technology can enhance student understanding and ability:
To To To To To solve complex problems create and Design work and learn as a team critically analyze and evaluate apply math, science, and engineer concepts

Overall Benefits of PBL in Green Technology Courses

Enhanced understanding of the economic and environmental need for green technologies Enhance technological literacy Greater depth of knowledge of design techniques, technology, and engineering processes as well as an increased understanding of the socioeconomic impact of energy and construction A sense of pride in seeing your design project in use

Barrows, H. S. (1986). A taxonomy of problem-based learning methods. Medical Education, 20,



Interlaboratory Working Group (2000). Scenarios for a clean energy future (Oak Ridge, TN: Oak Ridge National Laboratory; Berkeley, CA: Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory; and Golden, CO: National Renewable Energy Laboratory), ORNL/CON-476, LBNL-44029, and NREL/TP-62029379, November. Neo, M. & Neo, K. (2001). Innovative teaching: Using multimedia in a problem-based learning environment. Educational Technology & Society, 4(4), 19-31. Obama for America (2009). Barack Obama and Joe Bidens plan for lifetime success through education. Retrieved March 13, 2009 from The Research and Policy Committee of the Committee for Economic Development. (2003).

Learning for the future: changing the culture of math & science education to ensure a competitive workforce : a statement on national policy. New York, New York. Toon, J. (2008). Technology indicator shows China ahead of U.S. in technological standing.
Retrieved September 29, 2008, from Georgia Institute of Technology, Research News and Publications Office Web site: release.html?id=1682 Williams, P., Iglesias, J., & Barak, M. (2008). Problem based learning: Application to technology education in three countries. International Journal of Technology Design Education, 18(4), 319-