Indiana State University Newsroom

Technology students win teaching competition at regional conference

November 18, 2013

Building off Indiana State University's strong aviation program and previous conference experience, two students took flight into the classroom to earn state recognition.

A group of technology and engineering education students won first place in the teaching contest that was part of the 2013 Midwest Regional Conference of the Technology and Engineering Educators Collegiate Association (TEECA). Indiana State students Ciera Dickerson and Molly Joseph taught the simulated lesson geared toward middle school students on the history of airplanes and aerodynamics.

Dickerson and Joseph were required to incorporate writing into their lesson so they had students compare and contrast aircraft from the early 1900s to the present in order to write a comparative essay.

"Even though this was a short 10-minute lesson, it did reflect on how I want to teach in my classroom," Joseph said. "Incorporating hand-on activities during lecture is very important to me, and it also makes class more fun for the students."

Joseph is putting that experience to good use. She is student teaching at Otter Creek Middle School and Terre Haute North Vigo High School. At Otter Creek she taught technology classes. She is currently teaching introduction to engineering design, principles of engineering, advance manufacturing, and construction at Terre Haute North.

The students split a $250 scholarship from the Engineering Technology Majors of Indiana that can be used toward school expenses or professional development.

It was the second time for Joseph to participate in the competition.

"Having that previous experience helped me prepare my lesson, knowing what the judges were looking for." Joseph said. "Ciera and I looked at our judge's sheet from last year and tried to improve on some of the items we got marked down on last year."

Indiana State students also finished runners up in the problem solving competition.

Five Indiana State students attended the conference - with an interesting demographic. Three attendees were female.

"I've never had more females go than males," said Kara Harris, interim associate dean and associate professor of applied engineering and technology management and coordinator of Indiana State's technology and engineering education program. Of the students attending, all but Joseph were newcomers.

In addition to competition, the students enjoyed a variety of sessions geared toward new teachers during the two-day conference and heard from Gov. Mike Pence and Superintendent of Public Instruction Glenda Ritz.

Technology educators are required to adhere to a specific set of standards, Harris said. Yet students in the technology education program also learn to create lesson plans that incorporate the standards for lesson plans in writing, science, engineering and mathematics as well, she added.

"It connects the hands-on interdisciplinary work to multiple academic areas, including all STEM areas," Harris said.  


Photo caption: Kara Harris, Dior Johnson, Rachel Daniel, Molly Joseph, Ciera Dickerson and Jwan Davidson attended the recent Midwest Regional Conference of the Technology and Engineering Educators Collegiate Association.


Contact: Kara Harris, associate professor of applied engineering and technology management and technology and engineering education program coordinator, College of Technology, 812-237-9633 or