BOX 4-2

Suggested “Indicators” for Gauging the Impact of Infusion and Mapping, Core Ideas, and Guidelines for the Development of Instructional Materials

Input indicators:

  • state or national standards in science, mathematics, technology, or other subjects that include or connect to engineering concepts as described in the infusion and mapping approaches

  • new or revised curricula in science, engineering, technology, mathematics, or other subjects that include engineering concepts as reflected in the core ideas in engineering or guidelines for the development of instructional materials

  • school districts, institutions of higher education, curriculum projects, or other groups that provide teacher professional development consistent with the core ideas or guidelines

  • K–12 teacher preparation programs that use or adopt the core ideas or appropriate features of the guidelines into their course offerings for prospective teachers

  • informal and after-school education initiatives that offer students the opportunity to participate in engineering activities consistent with the core ideas and guidelines

Outcome indicators:

  • student understanding of core ideas in engineering

  • student achievement, interest, or motivation to learn mathematics, science, or technology that can be related to the introduction of engineering education consistent with the core ideas or guidelines

  • schools, school districts, or states that adopt new or revised STEM curricula that include engineering concepts as reflected in the core ideas or guidelines

  • K–12 teachers who can demonstrate understanding of core engineering ideas and how these ideas can be introduced to students

guidelines for instructional materials and the infusion and mapping approaches, and the creation of other kinds of resources for improving the quality and consistency of K–12 engineering education.

A Final Word

This study was conducted during a period of intense scrutiny of U.S. K–12 education. Concerns about the nation’s innovation capacity, aggravated by the economic downturn that began in 2008, have directed attention to the importance of STEM subjects. Policy makers and others are concerned about data that seem to reflect poorly on U.S. student achievement in science and mathematics.

Historically, in elementary and secondary schools the “E” in STEM has been virtually silent. But a small and apparently growing number of efforts are now under way to introduce engineering experiences to K–12 students. Limited but intriguing evidence suggests that engineering education can not only improve students’ understanding of engineering but also stimulate interest and improve learning in mathematics and science.

Currently there are no content standards, the traditional tool for guiding curriculum development, teacher education, and learning assessment, for engineering. Standards in other

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