subjects have reshaped many key elements of the U.S. education system, but their impact on student learning appears to be limited. In addition, the implementation of standards varies from state to state, and concerns about this variability have led to a rapidly moving initiative to develop common core standards.

This is the environment in which the committee attempted to determine the need for content standards for K–12 engineering education. Although we conclude that such standards are not now warranted, this in no way diminishes our enthusiasm for the potential value of engineering education to our country’s young people and, ultimately, to the nation as a whole. For a country like the United States, which is dependent on technological development, we can think of few subjects as critical as engineering to building an informed, literate citizenry, ensuring our quality of life, and addressing the serious challenges facing our country and the world.


Chi, B., J. Freeman, and S. Lee. 2008. Science in After-School Market Research Study: A Final Report to the S.D. Bechtel, Jr., Foundation. Coalition for Science after School and Center for Research, Evaluation and Assessment. Lawrence Hall of Science, University of California, Berkeley.

DOEd (U.S. Department of Education). 2007. Report of the Academic Competitiveness Council. Washington, DC: DOEd. Also available online at (April 9, 2010)

NAE and NRC (National Academy of Engineering and National Research Council). 2009. Engineering in K–12 Education: Understanding the Status and Improving the Prospects. Committee on K–12 Engineering Education. Recommendations 1, 2, 3, 6, and 7. Washington, DC: National Academies Press.

Rutherford, J. 2009. Standards 2.0: New models for the new century: Alternatives to traditional content standards. Paper presented at the NAE Workshop on Standards for K–12 Engineering Education, Washington, D.C., July 8, 2009. Available online at (April 9, 2010)

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