TABLE 4-1 Comparison of the Dimensions of Core Ideas and Standards in K–12 Engineering Education



Core Ideas

Number of concepts, skills, dispositions specified

Similar to existing standards in science, mathematics, and technology

Many fewer

Time and funding to develop

Many years and several million dollars

Approximately one year and $1 million


Blueprint for curriculum development, teacher professional development, and assessment

High-level statement of principles to inform groups interested in K–12 engineering education; general guidance for improving existing curriculum, teacher professional development, and assessment; basis for research on learning progressions

Level of specificity


Much more general

Conceptual coverage

Comprehensive and detailed

A subset of the most important “big ideas” with much less detail

Inclusion of grade bands or learning progressions



The committee further suggests that participant stakeholder groups in building a consensus on core ideas in engineering include the following:

  • Science, technology, engineering, and mathematics professional societies

  • Schools of engineering

  • Engineering and technology education accreditation bodies

  • Employers of engineers (e.g., technology-intensive industries)

  • K–12 science, technology, engineering, and mathematics education associations

  • The career technical-education community

  • Organizations with a history and interest in development of K–12 education standards

  • K–12 teacher accreditation bodies

  • States that include or have attempted to include engineering in their K–12 standards

  • Developers of K–12 student assessments

  • Developers of K–12 curricula, instructional materials, and textbooks

  • Organizations interested in college and workforce readiness

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