Prof. Erk Participates in SLED Summer Institute

Purdue’s SLED Summer Institute, a two-week workshop in which forty Indiana elementary school teachers gathered on campus to explore new methods for teaching Indiana math and science curriculum standards in an exciting new way that incorporates science inquiry activities and engineering design challenges.


The Science Learning through Engineering Design (SLED) Program at Purdue is a five-year, $6.7 million project funded by the National Science Foundation (PI Prof. Alyssa Panitch, BME) and is focused on improving science learning in third through sixth grades.  Design teams are comprised of Purdue faculty from Engineering, Science, Technology, and Education and local elementary school teachers.  Each summer, Indiana elementary school teachers attend the Summer Institute workshop at Purdue to learn how to incorporate the engineering design activities into their science classrooms.


Over the past year, Prof. Erk and her team members (Dr. Larry Braile, Professor of Earth and Atmospheric Sciences, Dr. John Lumkes, Associate Professor of Agricultural and Biomedical Engineering, Anne Brickler and Anna Mathys, local retired teachers) developed a third grade activity to teach students about sound waves by constructing a sound absorbing wall from different materials and a fourth grade activity to teach students about electrical conductors and insulators that challenged students to build electrical circuits from homemade salt-dough.


Purdue Engineering Impact article on SLED: