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The Current State of K–12 Engineering Education

A major goal of this project was to determine the scope and nature of current efforts to teach engineering to K–12 students in the United States. How many programs are there, who developed them, and which students have they reached? What purposes do they serve? How do they present engineering and engineering design? How do they relate to science, mathematics, and technology? What pedagogical strategies do teachers use? Have outcomes data been collected, and how good are these data? We approached this task in two ways: (1) by reviewing curricula for teaching engineering concepts and skills in K–12 classrooms and (2) by reviewing relevant professional-development initiatives for teachers.

As it turns out, the curriculum landscape is extremely varied; in fact, no two curricula occupy the same “ecological” niche. This is not surprising, given the diverse origins of these materials and points of view of their creators. In addition, because there is no widespread agreement on what a K–12 engineering curriculum should include, the committee decided not to compare programs directly but to identify areas of relative emphasis and notable omissions. This approach revealed certain cross-cutting themes, which are discussed in detail later in this chapter.

Developing a curriculum does not guarantee that engineering education in K–12 will be successful. A critical factor is whether teachers—from elementary generalists to middle school and high school specialists—understand basic engineering concepts and are comfortable engaging in, and teaching, engi-



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4 The Current State of K–12 Engineering Education A major goal of this project was to determine the scope and nature of current efforts to teach engineering to K–12 students in the United States. How many programs are there, who developed them, and which students have they reached? What purposes do they serve? How do they present engineering and engineering design? How do they relate to sci- ence, mathematics, and technology? What pedagogical strategies do teachers use? Have outcomes data been collected, and how good are these data? We approached this task in two ways: (1) by reviewing curricula for teaching engineering concepts and skills in K–12 classrooms and (2) by reviewing relevant professional-development initiatives for teachers. As it turns out, the curriculum landscape is extremely varied; in fact, no two curricula occupy the same “ecological” niche. This is not surpris- ing, given the diverse origins of these materials and points of view of their creators. In addition, because there is no widespread agreement on what a K–12 engineering curriculum should include, the committee decided not to compare programs directly but to identify areas of relative emphasis and notable omissions. This approach revealed certain cross-cutting themes, which are discussed in detail later in this chapter. Developing a curriculum does not guarantee that engineering education in K–12 will be successful. A critical factor is whether teachers—from elementary generalists to middle school and high school specialists—understand basic engineering concepts and are comfortable engaging in, and teaching, engi- 71

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72 ENGINEERING IN K–12 EDUCATION neering design. For this, teachers must either have appropriate background in mathematics, science, and technology, or they must collaborate with teachers who have this background. We held two data-gathering workshops to explore the professional-development situation for K–12 engineering educators. Infor- mation from those workshops is also included in this chapter. Although the emphasis in this report is on engineering education in this country, the charge to the committee included a directive to find examples of pre-college engineering education in other nations, on the grounds that efforts elsewhere to introduce pre-college students to engineering might influence decisions here. The few initiatives we found are described briefly in an annex to this chapter. Finally, we recognize that numerous efforts have been made to introduce engineering to K–12 students outside of formal school settings, through websites, contests, after-school programs, and summer programs. The com- mittee charge did not require us to examine these informal K–12 activities. We note, however, that some of these initiatives appear to have increased students’ awareness of and stimulated their interest in engineering (e.g., Melchior et al., 2005; TexPREP, 2003). REVIEW OF CURRICULA To identify K–12 engineering curricula, the committee relied on the joint efforts of committee members, Prof. Kenneth Welty,1 University of Wisconsin- Stout, and project staff. The methods included reviews of websites of profes- sional organizations, government agencies, and corporations with an interest in engineering education; searches of online curriculum clearinghouses and libraries; and direct communication with engineering educators, technology teachers, supervisors of state departments of education, and principal inves- tigators of known K–12 engineering education programs and projects. In May 2008, the committee solicited public comments on a project summary, which brought several additional curricula to our attention. Overall, the committee collected more than 10,000 pages of material, including lengthy narratives downloaded off the Web, material stored on compact disks, material assembled in three-ring binders, and material bound into textbooks. The materials ranged from 425 pages on a single 1The committee chose Prof. Welty because of his expertise in curriculum analysis, as well as his capacity as a co-principal investigator at the National Center for Engineering and Technology Education (NCETE) funded by the National Science Foundation. NCETE’s research agenda complements the overall goals of this project.

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THE CURRENT STATE OF K–12 ENGINEERING EDUCATION 73 topic—gliders—to just 46 pages on the huge topic of biotechnology. To ensure that patterns would be identified and meaningful conclusions drawn, the committee reviewed roughly equal numbers of curricula for each major K–12 grade band (i.e., elementary, middle, and high school). Because of limitations on time and funding, as well as practical dif- ficulties in locating some more obscure products, this curriculum review cannot be considered comprehensive. Nevertheless, the committee believes nearly all major initiatives and many less-prominent ones are included, thus providing a reasonable overview of the current state of K–12 engineering education in the United States. We are aware that there are individual courses not part of larger curricula that address engineering concepts and skills to varying degrees. These courses, typically developed and taught by technology educators, are not treated in our analysis, however. Selection Criteria To bound the analysis, the committee developed criteria to guide the selection of curricula that reflect the committee’s consensus that design is the distinguishing characteristic of engineering. To be included in the study, therefore, curricula had to meet the following specifications: The curriculum must engage students in the engineering-design pro- cess or require that students analyze past solutions to engineering- design problems. The curriculum must explore certain concepts (e.g., systems, con- straints, analysis, modeling, optimization) that are central to engi- neering thinking. The curriculum must include meaningful instances of mathematics, science, and technology. The curriculum must present engineering as relevant to individuals, society at large, or both. The curriculum must be of sufficient scale, maturity, and rigor to justify the time and resources required to conduct an analysis.2 2 Specifically, each initiative had to be designed to be used by people and organizations outside the group responsible for its initial development. It also had to include at least one salient piece that had undergone field testing and subsequent revision and was no longer identified as a “draft.” Finally, during the development of the initiative, it had to include some form of review of the initial concept, pilot or field testing, iterations based on feed- back, an external evaluation, or a combination of these.

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74 ENGINEERING IN K–12 EDUCATION Review Process The review process was overseen by Prof. Welty with the help of graduate fellows at NCETE. The committee initially underestimated the challenges of conducting in-depth reviews, such as the unique content, point of view, and organization of each curriculum and, often, their large size, which required many more hours of analysis than had been originally budgeted. As a result, the plan for reviews had to be modified midway through the project. Ulti- mately, we conducted two types of reviews: in-depth content analyses and descriptive summaries. In-depth reviews were conducted on curricula that (1) appeared to be widely used in schools, (2) appeared to have longevity, or (3) had other special characteristics that merited close examination. The in-depth reviews covered all three grade bands (Table 4-1). TABLE 4-1 Curricula Included in the Studya Title Developer Pre-K 1. Young Scientist Series—Building Educational Development Center Structures Elementary School 2. The Academy of Engineering (also PCS Edventures! for middle school and high school) 3. Children Designing and Engineering The College of New Jersey 4. City Technology/Stuff That Works City College of New York 5. Engineering is Elementary Boston Museum of Science 6. Full Option Science System Lawrence Hall of Science 7. Insights (Structures Unit) Education Development Center 8. Invention, Innovation, and Inquiry International Technology Education Association 9. A World in Motion Society for Automotive Engineers Middle School 10. Building Math Boston Museum of Science 11. Design and Discovery Intel Corporation 12. Gateway to Technology Project Lead the Way 13. The Infinity Project (Middle School) Southern Methodist University 14. Learning by Design Georgia Institute of Technology 15 LEGO® Engineering Tufts University 16. TECH-Know Technology Student Association continued

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THE CURRENT STATE OF K–12 ENGINEERING EDUCATION 75 TABLE 4-1 Continued Title Developer 17. Technology Education: Learning by Hofstra University Design 18. A World in Motion Society for Automotive Engineers High School 19. Designing for Tomorrow Ford Partnership for Advanced Studies 20. DTEACh University of Texas at Austin 21. Engineering: An Introduction for Arizona State University/CK12 Foundation High School 22. Engineering by Design International Technology Education Association 23. Engineering the Future Boston Museum of Science 24. Engineering Your Future Gomez, Oakes, Leone/Great Lakes Press 25. Engineers of the Future (Curriculum based on design and technology courses developed in the United Kingdom) 26. Exploring Design and Engineering The College of New Jersey 27. The Infinity Project Southern Methodist University 28. INSPIRES University of Maryland Baltimore County 29. Introduction to Engineering Design Project Lead the Way 30. Material World Modules Northwestern University 31. Principles of Engineering New York State Dept. of Education/Hofstra 32. What is Engineering? Johns Hopkins University 33. A World in Motion Society of Automotive Engineers Other 34. TeachEngineering.org Five-university collaboration (part of the National Science Digital Library) aCurricula shaded in gray received in-depth reviews. Each in-depth review included a detailed inventory of the content of the curriculum that addressed concepts and skills related to engineering, tech- nology, mathematics, and science. The research team also identified stated goals, pedagogical strategies, prominent activities, and treatment (if any) of content standards. If available, the team also documented how extensively the curriculum had been implemented and findings related to its impact. The authors of the curriculum were contacted, as needed, to provide background information, clarify details, or confirm researchers’ findings. Detailed written reports for each in-depth review were read and discussed by the committee. Descriptive summaries were prepared for the other curricular documents.

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76 ENGINEERING IN K–12 EDUCATION The descriptive summaries can be found in Appendix B and the in-depth reviews in Appendix C, included on the CD in the back cover of the report. CONCEPTUAL MODEL OF ENGINEERING CURRICULA The search for K–12 engineering education curricula turned up a wide variety of products from many different sources. Each curriculum had its own personality, and no two were completely alike in mission, content, format, or pedagogy. To deal with this complexity, Prof. Welty developed a “beads-and-threads” model (Figure 4-1) that enabled us to analyze the curricula in a systematic way using a manageable set of key variables. The beads represent the “packaging” in which the engineering content of the curriculum is delivered to students. Most of the curricular materials used interesting technologies to package content into manageable chunks. For example, “The Infinity Project” focused on technologies likely to be of inter- est to students, such as the Internet and cell phones, digital video and movie special effects, and electronic music. Other developers organized materials around hands-on learning activities familiar to and popular with many stu- dents and teachers. For example, the middle school program of “Project Lead the Way,” Gateway to Technology, includes activities for making and testing CO2-powered dragsters, magnetic-levitation vehicles, water-bottle rockets, model rockets, and Rube Goldberg devices. The content of several curricula was organized around the design process. For example, the “Design and Discovery” curriculum, by Intel Corporation, features lessons and learning activities for identifying problems, gather- ing information, brainstorming solutions, drawing plans, making models, building prototypes, and making presentations. Prominent local or regional industries, such as Ocean Spray Cranberries, Inc., were used as examples in interdisciplinary thematic units in the “Children Designing and Engineer- ing” materials, developed at The College of New Jersey. The material in one curriculum, “Engineering is Elementary,” was organized around traditional fields of engineering (e.g., civil, environmental, electrical, agricultural, and mechanical engineering). In the conceptual model, the threads, which run through the beads, represent the core concepts and basic skills a curriculum is designed to impart, independent of the particular packaging. Three threads, mathe- matics, science, and technology, represent domain knowledge in these subjects that is used in engineering design. A fourth thread represents the engineering design process. The design thread incorporates a number of spe-

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THE CURRENT STATE OF K–12 ENGINEERING EDUCATION 77 Threads Beads Science Mathematics Technology Design Analysis Optimization Constraints Trade-offs Modeling Systems FIGURE 4-1 A beads-and-threads model of K–12 engineering curricula. cific attributes of engineering design, such as analysis, constraints, modeling, optimization, and systems. The sections below describe of how these threads play out in the curricula. The Mathematics Thread We defined mathematics as patterns and relationships among quantities, numbers, and shapes. Specific branches of mathematics include arithmetic, geometry, algebra, trigonometry, and calculus. Our analysis suggests that mathematics is a thin thread running through the beads in most of the K–12 engineering curricula.3 The thinness of the thread reflects the limited role of mathematics in the objectives, learning activities, and assessment tools of the curricula. The mathematics used in the curricular materials reviewed by the committee involved mostly gathering, organizing, analyzing, interpreting, and presenting data. For example, in the “A World in Motion” curriculum, students build and test small vehicles (e.g., gliders, motorized cars, balloon- 3A separate analysis of curriculum, assessment, and professional development materials for three Project Lead the Way courses found explicit integration of mathematics “was apparent, but weakly so” (Prevost et al., 2009).

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78 ENGINEERING IN K–12 EDUCATION powered cars, wind-propelled skimmers). The testing involves measuring speed, distance, direction, and duration in conjunction with the systematic manipulation of key variables that affect vehicle performance (e.g., balloon inflation, sail size and shape, gear ratios, wing placement, nose weight). The data are organized into tables or graphs to see if they reveal patterns and relationships among the variables. The conclusions based on the data are then used to inform the design of subsequent vehicles. Similar instances of gathering and using data for vehicle design were found in the Models and Designs unit in the “Full Option Science System” and the Gateway to Technology unit of “Project Lead the Way.” Other materials engage students in counting and measuring, completing tables, drawing graphs, and making inferences, such as evaluating pump dispensers, con- ducting surveys, and testing materials. Engineers often use mathematical equations and formulas to solve for unknowns. Young people can learn about the utility of this application of math in various ways, such as by calculating the amount of current in a circuit based on known values for voltage and resistance or determining the output force of a mechanism based on a given input force and a known gear ratio. Several instances of this kind were found in the “Engineering the Future” curriculum. In one activity, students calculate the weight of a proposed product (an organizer) based on three different materials prior to prototyping. Another requires that students calculate the mechanical advan- tage of a lever to determine how much force is required to test the strength of concrete. However, most of the mathematics in the “Engineering the Future” curriculum is used to teach science concepts by illustrating relationships between variables, rather than to assist in solving design problems. For exam- ple, simple algebraic equations are used to represent the relationship between the cross-section of a pipe and its resistance to fluid flow, to calculate the output pressure of a hydraulic pump, and to determine the power produced by an electrical circuit. In these cases, mathematics is used to build domain knowledge in much the same way mathematics is used in science classes. Several projects (e.g., “A World in Motion,” “Building Math,” Gateway to Technology, “Design and Discovery,” “Designing for Tomorrow”) introduce and require the application of basic geometry principles in conjunction with the development of technical drawings. For example, “Engineering the Future” includes lessons dealing with the concepts of scale and X, Y, and Z axes in the context of making orthographic, isometric, oblique, and perspective drawings. Introduction to Engineering Design, a unit in “Project

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THE CURRENT STATE OF K–12 ENGINEERING EDUCATION 79 Lead the Way,” addresses basic geometry in some detail in conjunction with the exploration of the modeling of solids using computer-aided design soft- ware. In this curriculum, students identify geometric shapes (e.g., ellipses, triangles, polygons), calculate surface area and volume, use Cartesian coor- dinates, and use addition and subtraction to create geometric shapes. One strategy for increasing the mathematics content in some curricula was to include mathematical concepts in supplementary materials as enrich- ment activities. This approach might be characterized as a thread along the outside of the beads. The peripheral placement of the thread indicates that enrichment activities are optional, rather than integral to the unit but complement or extend instruction. This approach was found in materials associated with projects in “Chil- dren Designing and Engineering,” “Models and Designs,” “Material World Modules,” and “A World in Motion.” For example, in an “extension activity” in “Models and Designs,” students are asked to determine how long it took them to make an electrical device called a “hum dinger” (e.g., fastest time, slowest time, average time, total time). In an optional mathematics assign- ment in the Gliders unit of “A World in Motion,” students determine the mathematical properties of different wing shapes (e.g., area, mean chord length, aspect ratio). At the high school level, the “Materials World Modules” invites teachers to engage students in using the formula for Young’s modulus to determine the deflection of a fishing pole made out of drinking straws. Mathematics is a dominant thread in “The Infinity Project” and “Build- ing Math.” The latter is designed to teach students how principles learned in middle school algebra can be used in the context of engineering challenges. For example, in the Amazon Mission unit, students design an insulated carrier for transporting malaria medicine, a filtration system for removing mercury from water, and an intervention plan for containing the spread of a flu virus. Like most of the other curricula reviewed, “Building Math” also requires that students collect data, make graphs, and interpret patterns, related to, for example, the insulating properties of materials; the flow of water through holes of different sizes; the deflection of materials based on their length, thickness, and shape; and the effect of angles on the speed of an object sliding down a string. A major goal of the “Building Math” curriculum is to teach students that engineers use mathematics to minimize guesswork in designing solutions to problems. “The Infinity Project” is one of the few initiatives in which advanced algebra and trigonometry are introduced in engineering contexts. This curriculum encourages students to uncover, examine, and apply basic

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80 ENGINEERING IN K–12 EDUCATION mathematical principles that underlie common digital communication and information technologies. Binary numbers, matrix operations, polynomials, and other forms of mathematics are presented as essential content for syn- thesizing music, compressing video, and encrypting data, and mathematical concepts and equations are presented as tools used by engineers to create or improve a given digital technology or system. In addition, the laboratory activities require that students use mathematics and mathematical reason- ing to design, simulate, and explore digital communication and information technologies. Engineers often develop mathematical models featuring the key vari- ables in a process, system, or device. The variables include forces that act on a structure, the length of time required for a process, or the distance an object moves. The relationships between variables are represented by equations that can be used to test ideas, predict performance, and inform design decisions. However, our review of curricula did not find any projects or units in which students were instructed to develop and use mathematical models to assist them in designing solutions to problems. The Science Thread We defined “science” as the study of the natural world, including the laws of nature associated with physics, chemistry, and biology and the treatment or application of facts, principles, concepts, or conventions associated with these disciplines. Our analysis suggests that science is a moderately thick thread composed of two strands, (1) science concepts related to engineering topics and problems and (2) scientific modes of inquiry that build knowl- edge and inform design decisions. The First Strand The most common science topics in the first strand found in K–12 engineering curricula relate to materials, mechanisms, electricity, energy, and structures and typically involve concepts such as force, work, motion, torque, friction, voltage, current, and resistance. In the curricula, most of these concepts are presented in the form of encyclopedia-like explanations that are subsequently reinforced in laboratory activities. “Engineering is Elementary” includes concepts related to water, sound, plants, and organisms. At the high school level, “Material World Modules” address natural degradation processes, bioluminescence and chemilumi-

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THE CURRENT STATE OF K–12 ENGINEERING EDUCATION 81 nescence, thermal and electrical conductivity, compressive and tensile forces on atoms, the relationship between molecular weight and viscosity, and the absorption and release of energy by molecular bonds. The Second Strand The second strand, scientific inquiry, is a major theme in several cur- ricula, mostly to explore the interface between science and technology. For example, in the unit on Composites in “Material World Modules,” students make and test foam beams laminated with varying amounts of paper to determine the strength and stiffness of composite materials. Similar experi- ments related to materials, structures, electrical circuits, and mechanisms are included in “A World in Motion,” Building Structures with Young Children, a unit in the “Young Scientist Series,” “Children Designing and Engineering,” “City Technology,” “Design and Discovery,” “Engineering is Elementary,” and “Engineering the Future.” The results of these investigations are often applied in subsequent design activities. Another way scientific inquiry is used in the curricula is related to the col- lection of data to inform engineering design decisions. For example, the second challenge in “A World in Motion” requires that students conduct investigations to determine the effect of different gear ratios on the speed and torque of a motorized toy vehicle. In some cases, scientific inquiry is used to discover, illu- minate, or validate a law of nature, as might be done in a science classroom. For example, in Gateway to Technology, students experience Newton’s Third Law by sitting on a scooter pointed in one direction, throwing a medicine ball in the opposite direction, and noting the direction and velocity of the scooter in relation to the direction and force used to throw the ball. Many curricula engage students in scientific inquiry and inquiry-based learning in a symbiotic way. Several curricula introduce students to the basic principles of scientific investigation under the auspices of doing science. For example, “City Technology,” “Material World Modules,” and “A World in Motion” all stress the importance of manipulating one variable at a time while keeping the other variables constant. Learning activities in these programs include investigations that apply this principle in the contexts of packaging, structures, materials, and flight. In addition to teaching students about scien- tific investigations, they engage students in the generation, testing, revision, and validation of their ideas about protecting goods, making things stronger, and making models fly. In this sense, these curricula use scientific inquiry as a pedagogical strategy for building student knowledge of engineering design.

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TABLE 4-3 Continued 108 Program/ Scope of Number of Curriculum Training Target Audience Training Force Teachers Reached Notes One- or Elementary, middle, Staff at the Stevens Institute 35 teachers in New Planned expansion will Engineering two-day and high school of Technology Jersey reach 2,000 teachers Our Future New workshops teachers Jersey (based on the following curricula: Engineering is Elementary, World in Motion, Engineering the Future) The Infinity Required one- High school teachers 500 teachers in Training includes Project week summer grades 9–12 an online discussion institute board for teachers Material World Optional High school teachers Modules workshops that vary in length Summer Nearly 700 trained, Supported by $1.7 Engineers of the High school and institute the majority using million grant from Future (training middle school the Engineering the New York State based on technology is Elementary Education Department several different educators, and curriculum curricula) elementary teachers

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High school teachers A memorandum of Engineering the Half-day, understanding between Future full-day, and the Boston Museum of multiple-day Science and Valley City sessions in State University allows the Boston Engineering the Future area and 20 to be used in VCSU to 40 hour online pre-service moderated technology teacher online education professional development course Building Math Training DVD supplied with curriculum materials INSPIRES Two-day Technology teachers workshops in Maryland A World in One-day Elementary, middle, 65,000 kits shipped Teachers must agree to Motion workshop and high school since 1990 (not work with an engineer teachers clear how many who volunteers in the teachers trained) classroom 109

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110 ENGINEERING IN K–12 EDUCATION times to concepts and skills, including math and science skills, necessary to teach engineering. The committee was able to identify just three programs that offer pre-service education to prepare individuals to teach engineering in K–12 classrooms. Leveraging its model of in-service professional development, PLTW is working toward “infusing” its K–12 curriculum into teacher-preparation programs at nine university partners that already serve as sites for PLTW in-service summer institutes. The infusion of PLTW coursework into exist- ing teacher-preparation curricula must be carefully planned to ensure that it aligns with state licensing requirements (Rogers, 2008). As of early 2009, fewer than 10 teachers had graduated from the new PLTW-infused programs (Richard Grimsley, Project Lead the Way, personal communication, January 5, 2009). In contrast to PLTW’s curriculum-focused approach, in 2002 the College of New Jersey (TCNJ) initiated the Math/Science/Technology (M/S/T) inter- disciplinary degree program for aspiring elementary school teachers that requires coursework in all four STEM subjects. The program is a collabora- tive effort by the schools of engineering, education, and science administered by the Department of Technological Studies in the School of Engineering. The 32-credit program (Box 4-1) now has more than 150 graduates and current majors and is one of the fastest growing majors at TCNJ (Karsniz et al., 2007). Students who matriculate from the M/S/T program appear to have an appropriate background for teaching engineering. Unfortunately, TCNJ does not track the employment histories of its M/S/T graduates who, according to school officials, are in great demand as science and math teachers (John Karsnitz, TCNJ, personal communication, September 20, 2007). So, at least for now, the TCNJ program does not appear to be contributing to the national supply of engineering teachers. In 2006, Colorado State University in Fort Collins established a joint major in engineering and education. To the committee’s knowledge, this is the only program of its kind in the United States. Students in the program must complete general-education requirements, core engineering requirements, engineering-school electives, and professional education requirements. In the first year, 11 students (70 percent of them female) were enrolled in the program. Graduates will receive an engineering degree and a teaching license (DeMiranda, 2008). Other models of pre-service engineering education for teachers exist. For example, at Boise State University, students majoring in elementary

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THE CURRENT STATE OF K–12 ENGINEERING EDUCATION 111 BOX 4-1 The M/S/T Major at TCNJ The M/S/T program provides 10 units of “liberal learning” courses, such as creative design, calculus A, and a natural science. The 12-unit M/S/T academic major has an eight-unit core, which includes courses in multimedia design, structures and mechanics, two additional science courses, and one additional math course (either calculus B or engineer- ing math). Areas of specialization must include four additional units in technology/pre-engineering, mathematics, biology, chemistry, or physics. Specialization is the equivalent of a minor in one of the disciplines and may require that specific courses be included in the core requirements. M/S/T students who major in education must also complete 10 units of professional education courses. Such students meet New Jersey’s certi- fication requirements for highly qualified teachers. In addition to primary K–5 certification, M/S/T majors can apply for an endorsement for teach- ing middle school mathematics or science, if they have completed 15 credits of coursework in the discipline and have passed the appropriate PRAXIS test. They may also receive technology-education certification, if they have completed at least 30 specified credits and passed the appro- priate PRAXIS test. SOURCE: Karsnitz, 2007. education may enroll in an introductory engineering course offered by the College of Engineering. The course is supplemented by a seminar led by education faculty that considers how engineering projects can be used in the K–12 classroom to meet state teaching standards for math and science as well as reading, writing, and other non-technical subjects (Miller and Smith, 2006). Through a collaboration with TERC (www.terc.edu), Lesley University and Walden University offer an online course, Engineering: From Science to Design, for education master’s degree candidates. The course includes inde- pendent, hands-on work and group feedback and discussion in facilitated online forums (Sara Lacy, TERC, May 15, 2008). At least two states have started programs to provide new K–12 teachers with STEM credentials. In California, the University of California, California State University, and state and industry leaders initiated Cal Teach (http://

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112 ENGINEERING IN K–12 EDUCATION calteach.berkeley.edu/), which recruits students majoring in math, science, and engineering to become K–12 teachers. The goal of Cal Teach is to have 1,000 teachers in place by 2010. A similar effort, UTeach (http://uteach.utexas. edu/), was launched in 1997 at the University of Texas at Austin. As of 2007, the program had graduated a total of 480 STEM students, 41 of whom had degrees in engineering in addition to teaching certificates (376 had degrees in the natural sciences) (University of Texas at Austin, 2007). Under the auspices of the National Math and Science Initiative, UTeach has been expanded to 13 additional colleges and universities across the United States. OBSTACLES FACING PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT PROGRAMS Based on information provided during the two preliminary workshops and in the research literature, several barriers to professional development programs must be overcome in preparing educators to teach engineering in K–12 classrooms. For instance, teachers who are not familiar with engineer- ing may feel anxious and apprehensive, which can inhibit the effectiveness of professional development programs. Christine Cunningham, the director of professional development for “Engineering is Elementary,” described the problem (Cunningham, 2007): If most elementary teachers are afraid of teaching science, the notion of teaching engineering is often accompanied by terror. Much of the point of our professional development is to defuse their feelings of ineptitude through engagement. Similarly, teachers who do not have adequate knowledge of science and, especially, mathematics sometimes have difficulty understanding the material. In addition, some have little, if any, desire to take part in train- ing activities (Diefes-Dux and Duncan, 2007). Reportedly, some teachers also are uncomfortable with the open-endedness of engineering design. “A major challenge in PD for K–12 engineering is to undo the mindset that sees answers as right or wrong, and as complete or incomplete,” note Benenson and Neujahr (2007). In a survey of 44 technology teacher-education pro- grams, only 17 percent had completed the mathematics and science courses that would qualify them to teach PLTW courses (McAlister, 2005). McAlister also found that, when a group of 43 technology teachers was presented with two fairly simple problems involving structural load, half of them indicated that they would require additional training before they could teach those

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THE CURRENT STATE OF K–12 ENGINEERING EDUCATION 113 problems to students. Only one was able to identify the correct formula for solving one of the problems. INSPIRES (INcreasing Student Participation, Interest and Recruitment in Engineering & Science), a small-scale professional-development program at the University of Maryland, Baltimore County, relies on engineering fac- ulty to lead some activities. The program leaders note, however, that large numbers of engineering faculty might not be able to participate in such ventures because of their workloads and because of typical university reward structures (Ross and Bayles, 2007). More systemic problems, such as a lack of understanding of program content and learning progressions, may also interfere with the effectiveness of professional-development programs for K–12 teachers of engineering (Hailey et al., 2008). REFERENCES Asunda, P. and R. Hill. 2007. Critical features of engineering design in technology educa- tion. Journal of Industrial Teacher Education 44(1): 25–48. Ball, D.L., M.H. Thames, and G. Phelps. 2008. Content Knowledge for Teaching: What Makes It Special? Presented at the National Symposium on Professional Development for Engineering and Technology Education, Dallas, Texas, February 11–13, 2007. Available online at www.conferences.ilstu.edu/NSA/homepage.html (accessed May 23, 2008). Bandura, A., W.H. Freeman, and R. Lightsey. 1999. Self-efficacy: The exercise of control. Journal of Cognitive Psychotherapy 13(2): 158–166. Benenson, G., and J. L. Neujahr. 2007. Unraveling a Knotty Design Challenge: PD for Engi- neering K-12. Paper presented at a workshop of the NAE/NRC Committee on K–12 Engineering Education, Washington, D.C., October 22, 2007. Unpublished. Cunningham, C. 2007. Elementary Teacher Professional Development in Engineering: Lessons Learned from Engineering is Elementary. Paper resented at a workshop of the NAE/NRC Committee on Engineering Education, Washington, D.C., October 22, 2007. Unpublished. Daugherty, J.L., and R.L. Custer. Unpublished. Engineering-Oriented Professional Devel- opment for Secondary Level Teachers: A Multiple Case Study Analysis. Unpublished doctoral dissertation, University of Illinois, Champaign-Urbana. DeMiranda, M. 2008. K-12 Engineering Education Workshop. Paper presented at a work- shop of the NAE/NRC Committee on K–12 Engineering Education, Washington, D.C., February 25, 2008. Unpublished. Diefes-Dux, H and D. Duncan. 2007. Adapting Engineering is Elementary Professional De- velopment to Encourage Open-Ended Mathematical Modeling. Paper presented at a workshop of the NAE/NRC Committee on K–12 Engineering Education, Washington, D.C., October 22, 2007. Unpublished.

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114 ENGINEERING IN K–12 EDUCATION EWEP (Extraordinary Women Engineers Project). 2005. Extraordinary Women Engi- neers—Final Report, April 2005. Available online at http://www.eweek.org/site/news/ Eweek/EWE_Needs_Asses.pdf (accessed December 15, 2008). Garmire, E. 2002. The engineering design method. The Technology Teacher 62(6): 22–28. Hailey C., D. Householder, and K. Becker. 2008. Observations about Professional Develop- ment. Paper presented at a workshop of the NAE/NRC Committee on K–12 Engineer- ing Education, Washington, D.C., February 25, 2008. Unpublished. IDSA (Industrial Design Society of America). 2008. ID defined. Available online at http:// www.idsa.org/absolutenm/templates/?a=89&z=23 (accessed December 15, 2008). Karsnitz, J., S. O’Brien, and S. Sherman. 2007. M/S/T at TCNJ. Paper presented at a work- shop of the NAE/NRC Committee on K–12 Engineering, Washington, D.C., October 22, 2007. Unpublished. Maple, S.A., and F.K. Stage. 1991. Influences on the choice of math/science major by gender and ethnicity. American Educational Research Journal 28(1): 37-60. McAlister, B. 2005. Are Technology Education Teachers Prepared to Teach Engineering Design and Analytical Methods? Paper presented at the International Technology Education Association Conference, Session IV: Technology Education and Engineer- ing, Kansas City, Missouri, April 4, 2005. Melchior, A., F. Cohen, T. Cutter, and T. Leavitt. 2005. More Than Robots: An Evaluation of the FIRST Robotics Competition—Participant and Institutional Impacts. Center for Youth and Communities, Heller School for Social Policy and Management, Brandeis University. Available online at http://www.usfirst.org/uploadedFiles/Who/Impact/ Brandeis_Studies/FRC_eval_finalrpt.pdf (accessed August 1, 2008). Miller, R., and E.B. Smith. 2006. Education by Design: Connecting Engineering and Elementary Education. Paper published as part of the proceedings from The Fourth Annual Hawaii International Conference on Education, January 6–9, 2006, Honolulu. Available online at http://coen.boisestate.edu/EBarneySmith/Papers/Hawaii_2006.pdf (accessed January 6, 2009). Mundry, S. 2007. Professional Development in Science Education: What Works? Presented at the National Symposium on Professional Development for Engineering and Tech- nology Education, Dallas, Texas, February 11–13, 2007. Available online at www. conferences.ilstu.edu/NSA/homepage.html (accessed May 23, 2008). NAE (National Academy of Engineering). 2008. Changing the Conversation: Messages for Improving Public Understanding of Engineering. Committee on Public Understand- ing of Engineering Messages. Washington, D.C.: The National Academies Press. NCES (National Center for Education Statistics). 2001. Teacher Preparation and Pro- fessional Development: 2000. Available online at http://nces.ed.gov/surveys/frss/ publications/2001088 (accessed May 23, 2008). NSF (National Science Foundation). 2005. Science and Engineering Degrees: 1966–2004. Table 47, Engineering degrees awarded, by degree level and sex of recipient: 1996– 2004. Available online at http://www.nsf.gov/statistics/nsf07307/pdf/tab47.pdf (accessed August 11, 2008). Prevost, A., M. Nathan, B. Stein, N. Tran, and A. Phelps. 2009. The Integration of math- ematics in pre-college engineering: The search for explicit connections. Proceedings of the 2009 American Society for Engineering Education Annual Conference, Austin, Texas, June 14–17, 2009. Available online at http://sca.asee.org/paper/conference/paper- view.cfm?id=11744.

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THE CURRENT STATE OF K–12 ENGINEERING EDUCATION 115 Rogers, G. 2008. Pre-Service Professional Development for Middle School and High School Teacher of Engineering. Paper presented at a workshop of the NAE/NRC Committee on K–12 Engineering Education, Washington, D.C., February 25, 2008. Unpublished. Ross, J. M. and T. M. Bayles. 2007. Implementing the INSPIRES Curriculum: The Role of Professional Development. Professional Development of Engineering and Technol- ogy: A National Symposium Proceedings. Illinois State University. SAE (Society of Automotive Engineers). 2009. A World in Motion. Facts. Available online at http://www.sae.org/exdomains/awim/aboutus/facts.htm (accessed April 2, 2009). Shulman, L.S. 1987. Knowledge and teaching: foundations of the new reform. Harvard Educational Review 57(1): 1–22. TexPREP (Texas Prefreshman Engineering Program). 2003. Program Results—2003 PREP Fact Sheet. Available online at http://www.prep-usa.org/portal/texprep/generaldetail. asp?ID=107 (accessed January 30, 2009). University of Texas at Austin. 2007. UTeach, Special Addition, 10th Anniversary Report. Available online at https://uteach.utexas.edu/download.cfm?DownloadFile=1DE15E0B- 9A97-2621-857E36A4D0DFC1EA (accessed August 13, 2008). U.S. Census Bureau. 2005. Population Profile of the United States: Dynamic Version. Race and Hispanic Origin in 2005. Available online at http://www.census.gov/population/ pop-profile/dynamic/RACEHO.pdf (accessed January 5, 2009). Walcerz, D. 2007. Report on the Third Year of Implementation of the TrueOutcomes Assessment System for Project Lead the Way. Available online at http://www.pltw. org/pdfs/AnnualReport-2007-Public-Release.pdf (accessed August 11, 2008). Weber, K., and R. Custer. 2005. Gender-based Preferences Toward Technology Education Content, Activities, and Instructional Methods. Available online at http://scholar.lib. vt.edu/ejournals/JTE/v16n2/weber.html (accessed December 15, 2008). Annex PRE-UNIVERSITY ENGINEERING EDUCATION IN OTHER COUNTRIES1 Given the universality of science and technology, the committee felt it appropriate to look into how other nations encourage engineering thinking in pre-college students. However, because of budget and time constraints, 1This appendix is adapted from a paper written for the committee by Dr. Marc J. DeVries, Eindhoven University, The Netherlands, based on research conducted by Carolyn Williams, a 2007 Christine Mirzayan Science and Technology Policy Graduate Fellow at the National Academy of Engineering.

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116 ENGINEERING IN K–12 EDUCATION BOX 4A-1 Selected Countries with Pre-College Engineering Programs England/Wales: General Certificate of Education, Engineering Australia (New South Wales): Higher School Certificate in Engineering Studies Israel: ORT Innovative Science Track in Engineering Sciences Germany: Junior-Ingenieur-Akademie (Academy for Junior Engineers) South Africa: Further Education and Training in Electrical Technology France: Baccalauréat General, Série Scientifique Sciences de l’Ingénieur; Baccalauréat Technologique, Série Sciences et Technologies Industrielles Netherlands: Technasium, Research and Design Colombia: Pequeños Cientificos (Little Scientists) the committee did not pursue this research and analysis with the same intensity as it had for U.S. efforts. In addition, because of differences in the organization and operation of educational systems in other countries, it was difficult to draw direct comparisons with the situation in the United States. Materials in languages other than English further complicated the analysis, and curricular documents were not always available. In many cases, the curriculum content had to be inferred from a review of sample assessment items. Despite these limitations, the committee was able to identify several important principles. The committee used a variety of information-gathering techniques, including online searching; telephone interviews; and e-mail requests to professional, corporate, academic, government, and education groups and individuals. Eight programs or projects in eight countries were identified (Box 4A-1), all but one of which (Pequenos Cientificos) were for senior secondary-level students (i.e., grades 10–12). In all probability, these eight initiatives represent only a fraction of these kinds of activities around the world. The Goals of Pre-College Engineering Education Two primary purposes were identified for exposing pre-college students to the study of engineering—“mainline” goals (i.e., general education) and

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THE CURRENT STATE OF K–12 ENGINEERING EDUCATION 117 “pipeline” goals (i.e., preparation for engineering careers). The majority of programs were in the “pipeline” category. In France, for example, prepara- tion for the academic study of engineering is preceded by a competitive selection process at the pre-college level with the goal of identifying the very best students for continued engineering education. Based on sample exam questions for prospective engineers in Israel, the committee inferred that the emphasis of the ORT engineering sciences program is on preparing students for post-secondary engineering education, rather than on expanding their general education. Programs in some countries seem to serve both purposes. For example, in England and Wales, the General Certificate of Education, Engineer- ing, has some features in common with the U.K.’s Design and Technology Curriculum, which is designed primarily for general education purposes. At the same time, to receive a General Certificate, students must master a good deal of specific knowledge in engineering domains, thus preparing them for further engineering studies. Treatment of Engineering Concepts and Domains The focus on core engineering concepts in international programs varies greatly. The U.K. materials, for example, treat the concepts of systems and control in some detail, while other concepts, such as optimization, are largely absent. The design process is evident, consistent with the influence of the design and technology paradigm. In the Israeli programs, the curriculum and sample exam questions focus on the concept of systems; related ideas, such as control, feedback, and parameters, are also treated in some detail. By contrast, the South African assessment materials have few explicit refer- ences to general engineering concepts; instead, they focus on ideas specific to electrical engineering, most of which are scientific rather than engineer- ing concepts (e.g., voltage, current). Exam questions in the French Série de Sciences de l’Ingénieur explicitly refer to engineering concepts, including system analysis, requirements, and optimization. Overall, the international pre-college engineering programs include a wide range of engineering domains. The U.K. General Certificate of Educa- tion, Engineering, reflects the compulsory pre-college design and technol- ogy curriculum; thus it explores the traditional disciplines of electrical and mechanical engineering, as well as less traditional areas, such as food technology and biotechnology. The exam questions for Australia’s Higher School Certificate in Engineering (HSCE) Studies address issues in telecom-

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118 ENGINEERING IN K–12 EDUCATION munications, transportation, civil engineering, aeronautics, and electronics; the exam also includes a biotechnology module. In addition to two engineering sciences courses, students pursuing the Israeli ORT curriculum pick a specialization course from one of the follow- ing areas: motion systems, biomedical engineering, robotic systems, artificial intelligence, or aerospace engineering. The content of the sample exam for the ORT curriculum, however, appears to focus on computer programming. The French baccalauréat programs cover a variety of engineering domains spread over different ‘séries’ in the ‘bac’. In the engineering series, the focus is on electrical engineering, mechanical engineering, and information science. Treatment of Science, Technology, and Mathematics International pre-college engineering initiatives appear to face same challenges as U.S. initiatives, such as teaching students to use math and science to solve or optimize authentic design challenges. In the French cur- riculum, math and science are integrated, but at a high level of difficulty. Exam questions for the ‘Séries de Sciences de l’Ingénieur’ describe a technical device that has to meet a given set of requirements, and students are asked to calculate certain variables based on their knowledge of science. In most instances, however, math and science concepts are treated as separate from technological content. For example, sample assessment items for the Australian HSCE require the application of scientific knowledge and mathematical skills to problems specific to technical devices. Either the tech- nical device is used as a context for asking a question that requires knowledge of science and/or math, or the question is about technology and does not require science or math. The same separation was evident in exam questions and practical assessment tasks in the South African curriculum. The exam includes ques- tions about abstract situations (e.g., diagrams representing electrical and logical circuits) in which students must make calculations and apply their knowledge of the laws of electricity. The practical assignments are design challenges, but they do not encourage the application of science or math to develop or optimize the design solution.