Project

Advancing Excellence in P-12 Engineering Education (AEEE) Project

Goal: To enhance the appropriately scaffolded teaching of P-16 engineering by developing and studying engineering design-based instructional interventions.

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Project log

Greg J. Strimel
added a research item
This article, focused on Engineering in Action, presents a socially relevant lesson designed to intentionally teach elementary students engineering concepts related to the practices of Engineering Design and Quantitative Analysis as well as provide opportunities for them to develop Engineering Habits of Mind. The lesson also situates learning within the contexts of computation and medical/health-related technologies as described in Standards for Technological and Engineering Literacy (2020) and addresses the standards focused on design (STEL-Core Disciplinary Standard 7) and technological innovation/impacts (STELCore Disciplinary Standard 4). The lesson example includes (a) class discussions to engage students in a socially relevant problem (children’s hydration and clean water access) and (b) a design activity to help students develop Engineering Habits of Mind (i.e., Systems Thinking, Creativity, and Persistence) as well as learn concepts related to Engineering Practices (i.e., Computational Thinking and Prototyping). At the end of this lesson, students are expected to (1) design health-related technology for their own water bottle, (2) explore methods of programming a timer using a Micro:bit (See Figure 1), and (3) create a working prototype (including both digital and physical elements) of their design. Additionally, students should be able to showcase as well as reflect on their engineering habits.
Greg J. Strimel
added a research item
Engineering learning, a three-dimensional construct that includes Engineering Habits of Mind, Engineering Practices, and Engineering Knowledge, has been well established and defined at the post-secondary level (Reed, 2018). Meanwhile, engineering within pre-kindergarten through 12th grade (P-12) classrooms continues to grow steadily. Changes introduced by A Framework for K-12 Science Education (National Research Council, 2012) and Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS Lead States, 2013) have started to place engineering within secondary science education, just as the inclusion of engineering design in Standards for Technological Literacy did within technology education classrooms at the turn of the century (International Technology and Engineering Educators Association, 2000/2002/2007). More and more students are now exposed to engineering learning prior to graduating from high school in a variety of courses like technology, science, and career/technical education classrooms, as well as informal learning programs. Nevertheless, engineering in its own right often remains a missing or minimal component of the learning experience for many students (Change the Equation, 2016; Miaoulis, 2010). To include engineering in a more prominent manner, the Framework for P-12 Engineering Learning (2020) has recently been published as a practical guide for developing coherent, authentic, and equitable engineering learning programs across schools. This guidance includes a definition of the three dimensions of engineering learning, principles for pedagogical practice, and common learning goals. The framework can support the development of in-depth and authentic engineering learning initiatives and provide building blocks toward the 2020 Standards for Technological and Engineering Literacy. As a component of the framework, engineering practices are detailed by describing core concepts that can support performing these practices with increased sophistication over time. Examples include making data-informed design decisions based on material properties and employing computational tools to analyze data to assess and optimize designs. In this Engineering in Action article, we introduce a freely available, open-source computer-aided design (CAD) software called Aladdin and discuss how it can support authentic engineering practice within secondary classrooms. Earlier works have suggested that Aladdin is an effective tool for implementing Next Generation Science Standards (e.g., Chao et al., 2018; Goldstein, Loy, & Purzer, 2017). Similarly, we make a case for using Aladdin in secondary engineering education and discuss how recommendations of the Framework for P-12 Engineering Learning map to specific features of the software.
Greg J. Strimel
added a research item
The Framework for P-12 Engineering Learning has been published by the American Society for Engineering Education as a practical guide for developing coherent, authentic, and equitable engineering learning initiatives or programs across schools. This framework includes defining the three-dimensions of engineering learning as well as identifying common learning goals that all students should reach to become engineering literate. The contents of the framework were created through more than four years of research and development activity that engaged hundreds of P-12 engineering stakeholders to provide concrete expectations and curricular resources for achieving engineering literacy for all. This resource exchange document will provide a brief introduction to the framework and explore how the highlighted concepts can build upon each other to influence more immediate and purposeful instructional practice. The complete framework can be downloaded for free at https://p12framework.asee.org/.
Greg J. Strimel
added a research item
This Engineering in Action article presents a socially relevant lesson designed to intentionally teach secondary students core engineering concepts related to the practices of Engineering Design and Quantitative Analysis [presented in the Framework for P-12 Engineering Learning (2020)]. This lesson also situates learning in the context of computation and automation as described in Standards for Technological and Engineering Literacy (ITEEA, 2020) and addresses the standards focused on human-centered design and technological innovation/impacts. The lesson example includes (a) class discussions to engage students in a socially relevant problem (the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic) within the context of safety in public settings and (b) a design activity to help students learn and apply core concepts related to Engineering Practice (i.e., Computational Thinking, Prototyping, and Systems Analytics) as well as knowledge related to communication technologies. At the end of this lesson, students are expected to (1) design a social distancing lanyard for public events (See Figure 1), (2) explore methods of measuring distances between people via radio signals, (3) ideate several designs that meet the needs of their identified user, and (4) create a working prototype (including both digital and physical elements) of their chosen design. Additionally, students should be able to showcase their engineering practices as well as how knowledge of their user and communication technologies informed their design.
Greg J. Strimel
added a research item
The REPS project seeks to investigate how to best implement engineering learning as defined by the Framework for P-12 Engineering Learning. As put forth in the framework, “associated grade-band specific implementation guides will leverage the content of this report to describe and propose appropriate engineering learning across the grades for all children to engage in rigorous and authentic learning experiences to think, act, and learn like an engineer". The Framework set the conceptual organization for P-12 engineering learning and provided preliminary Engineering Literacy Expectations and Engineering Performance Matrices for high school learners. Leveraging this roadmap provided in the Framework, REPS completes the vision by adding the Preschool (P)-Grade 8 components. The REPS project engages the broader P-12 engineering education community in articulating expectations for engineering learning for early learning, elementary, and middle school students to serve as the connecting elements necessary for authentic engineering learning efforts across the grades. The REPS project brings to bear the combined expertise of educators, professional engineers, and researchers in the field of engineering education to refine and complete a consensus on the nature of engineering literacy development for all students from preschool through high school.
Greg J. Strimel
added a research item
This Engineering in Action article presents a socially relevant lesson designed to intentionally teach secondary students core engineering concepts related to the practices of Engineering Design and Quantitative Analysis as well as knowledge related to Engineering Sciences [presented in the Framework for P-12 Engineering Learning (2020)]. This lesson also situates learning in the context of medical and health-related technologies as described in the Standards for Technology & Engineering Literacy and addresses the standard focused on human-centered design. The lesson example includes (a) class discussions to engage students in a socially relevant problem (diabetes treatment options) within a culturally situated context (whether insulin pumps meet the needs of their user) and (b) a design activity to help students learn and apply two core concepts of Engineering Practice (Modeling & Simulation and Ideation) as well as the Engineering Science concept of Chemical Reactions & Catalysis. At the end of this lesson, students are expected to (1) calculate the amount of insulin a person would need given a range of variables, (2) ideate several designs that meet the needs of their identified user, and (3) create a low fidelity prototype of their chosen design. Additionally, students should be able to showcase their engineering practices as well as how knowledge of their user and engineering sciences informed their design.
Greg J. Strimel
added a research item
Download @ https://www.p12engineering.org/framework - Engineering touches every aspect of human life, from providing access to clean drinking water to 5G telecommunications and vaccine development. Yet few young people ever encounter the subject in school or graduate with the foundational skills and knowledge to pursue engineering studies and careers. Now more than ever, we must inspire and prepare our students to grow into the informed designers and innovators the world needs to solve the tough challenges facing us today and in the future. In short, engineering learning is essential for every child in every school, town, city, and county in the country. Many of us within the P-12 education community recognize that there is something special about engineering learning. When given the opportunity to engineer, students of a variety of ages and backgrounds are motivated and eager to tackle difficult problems. They work together. They communicate. They are critical and creative and resourceful. We’ve seen it with our own eyes, experienced it as teachers and professional development coordinators, and advocated for it at parent/teacher nights, school board meetings, and legislative briefings. We know that engineering should be taught in parallel with science and math to ensure an equitable, authentic, relevant, and exciting STEM education experience. However, there have been minimal efforts at the state and local level toward adopting engineering as a distinct component of every child’s schooling. The Framework for P-12 Engineering Learning is a step toward changing that status quo and democratizing engineering learning across all grade levels, preschool through high school. The framework was developed with teachers, school administrators, and researchers working in concert with leaders of the Advancing Excellence in P-12 Engineering Education (AE3) research collaborative and the American Society of Engineering Education. It provides practical guidance by identifying common P-12 engineering learning goals that all students should reach to become engineering literate. The document will add structure and coherence to the P-12 engineering community by serving as a foundation for the development of any and all engineering programs in schools, informing state and national standards-setting efforts, and providing researchers with a common starting point to better investigate and understand P-12 engineering learning. The framework is envisioned as both a practical guide and critical first step in a national movement to make engineering a part of every child’s educational experience. Whether you are a state education policy leader, district administrator, teacher, researcher, industry partner, or educational company, we invite you to join us in our mission.
Greg J. Strimel
added a research item
https://docs.lib.purdue.edu/jpeer/vol10/iss1/4/ Engineering education has increasingly become an area of interest at the P-12 level, yet attempts to align engineering knowledge, skills, and habits to existing elementary and secondary educational programming have been parochial in nature (e.g., for a specific context, grade, or initiative). Consequently, a need exists to establish a coherent P-12 content framework for engineering teaching and learning, which would serve as both an epistemological foundation for the subject and a guide for the design of developmentally appropriate educational standards, performance expectations, learning progressions, and assessments. A comprehensive framework for P-12 engineering education would include a compelling rationale and vision for the inclusion of engineering as a compulsory subject, content organization for the dimensions of engineering literacy, and a plan for the realization of this vision. The absence of such a framework could yield inconsistency in authentically educating students in engineering. In response, this study was conducted to establish a taxonomy of concepts related to both engineering knowledge and practices to support the development of a P-12 curricular framework. A modified Delphi method and a series of focus groups—which included teachers, professors, industry professionals, and other relevant stakeholders—were used to reach a consensus on engineering concepts deemed appropriate for secondary study. As a result, a content taxonomy for knowledge and practices appropriate for P-12 engineering emerged through multiple rounds of refinement. This article details the efforts to develop this taxonomy, and discusses how it can be used for standards creation, curriculum development, assessment of learning, and teacher preparation.
Greg J. Strimel
added an update
ASEE Developing Framework for P-12 Engineering Standards ASEE is partnering with the Advancing Excellence in P-12 Engineering Education research collaborative on a high-profile project, establishing defined and cohesive educational sequences to serve as the foundation for P-12 Engineering Standards. This will provide a pathway for ideas and innovations in engineering education to reach school systems eager to implement engineering with fidelity. Read more @ https://www.p12engineering.org/post/partnership-announced-to-develop-framework-for-p-12-engineering-standards.
 
Greg J. Strimel
added a research item
Computational thinking is a problem-solving technique that has traditionally been employed by computer scientists to develop computer applications. However, computational thinking practices are now believed to be applicable to a variety of other fields (Google for Education, 2018), specifically those related to engineering and technology. Accordingly, the Advancing Excellence in P-12 Engineering Education (2018) project identified computational thinking as one of the core engineering concepts fundamental for setting a foundation for students to conduct the quantitative analyses that engineers and other related professionals perform. Likewise, the Committee for the Workshops on Computational Thinking advocates that computational thinking is necessary for people to develop efficient and automated physical design solutions as well as visualizations of design concepts and computational scientific models (NRC, 2011). These abilities, which also include thinking critically about complex problems, generating creative solutions, and communicating solutions effectively, are now considered necessary at all levels of scholarship. While the demands in the computer science workforce continue to grow (Qian & Lehman, 2016), computational thinking skills are also considered valuable for multiple career fields (Kelleher, 2009). As a response to the demand, the interest in computer science education has been increasing, and introductory computer science courses have been developed for students at the elementary and secondary levels (Qian & Lehman, 2016). However, too few students are given the opportunity to develop computational thinking skills within engaging physical settings (Google & Gallup, 2016) provided through the hands-on and design-based learning environments afforded in engineering and technology classrooms. Therefore, this article will provide an example instructional activity for fostering computational thinking while also addressing core engineering concepts in electronics using programmable e-textiles (electronic textiles). Specifically, the instructional context of wearable technologies will be used to provide a physical connection to developing computational thinking skills and electrical engineering capabilities while also enhancing the rigor of engineering design and providing socially-connected relevance to learning.
Greg J. Strimel
added a research item
In this article, we discuss how students can work in an engineering design setting to explore potential solutions for combatting veteran homelessness through the creation of small, scale-model “tiny homes” (Figures 1 and 2). This lesson, which integrates a socially relevant context, will provide students the opportunity to connect with core engineering concepts and practices while designing/creating innovative solutions for issues prevalent within their communities.
Greg J. Strimel
added a research item
The purpose of this Excelling in Engineering article is to highlight TEAMS (Tests of Engineering Aptitude, Mathematics, and Science) as a premier secondary engineering competition, and provide the resources from the 2018 national competition to (a) deliver an inside look into the competitions, (b) showcase the rigor of the TEAMS engineering challenges, and (c) offer prior national challenges as a resource for teachers to engage students in authentic engineering experiences. Also, the article will pinpoint how the evaluation criteria for the 2018 TEAMS national competition align with the engineering core concepts identified by the Advancing Excellence in P-12 Engineering Education (AE3) (2018) collaborative.
Greg J. Strimel
added a research item
Understanding the need to increase STEM interest and participation across all populations from primary school through higher education, an Engineering professor collaborated with faculty from Teacher Education and Humanities to submit a grant proposal to do just that. The college was awarded funding to (1) develop culturally relevant engineering and renewable energy-based curriculum for primary school teachers, (2) pilot the curriculum through YMCA after-school programs, and (3) offer K-5 educators and YMCA instructors professional development workshops to allow for individual exploration and engagement on how one might implement engineering curriculum into their classrooms. The purpose of this article is to provide an overview of the project and provide experiences for teachers to further implement engineering within their classrooms.
Greg J. Strimel
added a research item
This article showcases a socially relevant lesson that employs a culturally situated design context to intentionally teach students about the engineering concepts involved in material selection and the application of dynamics. In this lesson, students use their classroom time to work in groups addressing the issue of how to design athletic helmets to account for cultural attire, various customs, increased safety, size versatility, and the use of eco-friendly materials/manufacturing processes. Students in the class will gather existing knowledge, investigate material classifications, and explore the properties of materials to design a helmet and present their design solutions to the class. Their teacher, as well as their peers, will evaluate the design to ensure the product has addressed target populations, material limits, aesthetic considerations, and cost requirements.
Greg J. Strimel
added a research item
This article presents a culturally situated and socially relevant lesson for intentionally teaching secondary students the fundamental engineering concepts related to Problem Framing and Project Management. This lesson includes: (a) class discussions to engage students in a socially relevant problem (food waste and sustainability) within a culturally situated context (connection between food and culture) and (b) an experiential, team-based design activity to provide students with opportunities to learn and apply two fundamental core concepts of engineering design (Problem Framing and Project Management). At the end of this lesson, students are expected to be able to develop a problem statement by identifying explicit and implicit goals, determining the constraints involved in a given problem, and considering multiple perspectives regarding the design scenario to help eliminate any perceived assumptions that unnecessarily limit the problem-solving process. Additionally, students will be able to plan and manage a design project by applying a variety of project management strategies.
Greg J. Strimel
added a research item
T he purpose of this article is to provide educators with resources to help students establish a deeper understanding of the application and role of statistical analysis within the design and innovation process. Quantitative analyses are often taught and applied through design activities, especially during testing or experimenting phases of design. However, we posit that quantitative analytics and statistical procedures are also extremely useful during the early phases of the design process (i.e., problem validation, customer analysis, problem framing). Also, we believe that when quantitative analyses are conducted within the early stages of design, the related engineering concepts are more closely connected to the human element of design. This can potentially provide more culturally relevant and authentic contexts for students to learn essential engineering concepts and skills such as the proper application of statistics to validate a problem or the economic feasibility of potential design solutions. As a result, the lesson resources provided here can present students the opportunity to identify, define, and validate potential design problems/opportunities before attempting to design a product, thus potentially saving time, energy, and other resources. To do so, the students can be intentionally taught concepts related to quantitative analyses while linking them to entrepreneurial thinking in terms of recognizing the value proposition of potential solutions. The Advancing Excellence in P-12 Engineering (AEEE) project identified Engineering Statistics and Probability as one of the core engineering concepts fundamental for setting the foundation for students to conduct the quantitative analyses that engineers and other related professionals perform (Strimel et al., 2018). In addition, the
Greg J. Strimel
added 3 research items
The Advancing Excellence in P-12 Engineering Education (AEEE) project is an ongoing research venture to promote collaboration across the engineering and education community to first pursue a vision and direction for P-12 Engineering Education; and second to develop a coherent and dynamic content framework for scaffolding the teaching and learning of engineering at the secondary school level. These efforts will be accomplished through a series of action-oriented activities and product developments. Year One of the AEEE project consisted of a series of stakeholder webinars, a modified Delphi study, and the first action-oriented AEEE Symposium focused on establishing coherent progressions of learning in engineering. These activities acted as the catalyst to establish a team of researchers, teachers, and administrators interested in the work.
Our world is full of seemingly insurmountable challenges: poverty, food security, and climate change to name a few. Historically , engineering has provided solutions to the world's most daunting problems. Paramount among these challenges is the need to prepare the next generation of global citizens to solve issues of the ensuing century. While the demands of our world require creative, capable, and diverse problem solving, our children have limited opportunities to engage in engineering as part of a typical educational environment. Many school systems have turned to STEM education to answer this call. STEM has become a nationwide, educational "buzzword, " as students experience robotics, science fairs, and coding with a renewed sense of excitement and engagement. While these experiences are encouraging, they are often fringe practices, more likely to become the exception in education rather than the standard. In many communities STEM education is a fun reprieve from "education (business) as usual" but is not viewed as a long-lasting educational transformation. Evidence also suggests that many programs are simply rebranding science, technology, and/or mathematics programs with the badge of STEM education without adhering to transdisciplinary practices championed by STEM education experts. This is not to say that all STEM education programs fall into this category. There are, in fact, several high-quality STEM programs and frameworks throughout the country that remain committed to inte-grative, inquiry-driven, and design/problem-based classroom experiences. The inherent broadness of a term such as "STEM, " however, allows for the adoption of watered-down imitations. This dilution of STEM education from a national perspective prohibits its ability to enact transformative change. Engineering does not share many of the potential drawbacks of STEM education. For example, engineering is a defined discipline with a millennium of development, practice, refinement, and post-secondary expertise. Engineering is naturally integrative, calling upon scientific knowledge, mathematical truths, and technological capabilities to design solutions to societal, economic, and environmental problems. Yet, engineering should not simply be adopted by existing P-12 educational programs without careful and informed considerations. Engineering education is a novel, yet emerging trend in P-12 schools, many of which lack validated common classroom practices, teacher training, and curriculum. The nature of design in engineering enables educators to create approachable yet authentic contexts for student learning. Put simply, engineering is uniquely positioned to support transdisciplinary learning experiences to foster rich connections and further knowledge and skills of academic disciplines. If implemented with fidelity and resolution, engineering is poised to deliver on many of the forgotten promises of STEM education. This unacknowledged truth is detrimental to our regional, national, and global success and the promise of informed and participating citizens. To solve the most difficult economic, environmental, and cultural challenges of the future, we must advocate for all students to engage in engineering. Such a formidable initiative results in political and economic trials of its own: budget constraints, space in the current school schedule, and teacher professional development all influence educational practice. Even with these obstacles, the last decade has seen the proliferation of engineering in U.S. elementary, middle, and high schools. Science education leaders have acknowledged and positioned engineering as a vehicle for, and a complement to, science learning. The technology education community evolved with a name change of its professional organization, the International Technology and Engineering Educators Association (ITEEA). The 2017 Phi Delta Kappa poll of the public's attitudes toward schools reported that Americans overwhelmingly (82%) view technology and engineering education as an important indicator of school quality. Consequently, while current initiatives in P-12 engineering education are promising, a clear vision and roadmap elude educators. Little is known about how children progress through engineering learning. Few curricula have explored and investigated how an articulate P-12 engineering program may contribute to the general literacy of our children. The Advancing Excellence in P-12 Engineering Education project represents a mandate-a call to action-to build a community with a shared focus, vision, and research agenda to ensure that every child is given the opportunity to think, learn, and act like an engineer.
Greg J. Strimel
added a research item
The importance of engineering for P-12 learners continues to increase. This growing interest can be attributed to the idea that engineering education can contribute to the general education of all students as well as inspire a more diverse, and workforce ready, populace to meet the needs of high-demand careers of the 21st century. Engineering education is uniquely positioned to support interdisciplinary learning experiences to foster rich connections and further knowledge and skills of academic disciplines. The inclusion of engineering into P-12 education is now seen as an approach to address challenges facing the U.S. educational system. The teaching of engineering in primary and secondary schools must be expanded to better prepare students with the skills necessary for economic success. Recently, the political climate has followed suit. Legislative efforts have been proposed to award grants to state educational agencies and local educational agencies to support, develop, and implement formal and informal engineering education programs in elementary schools and secondary schools. Despite greater attention to the value, importance, and use of engineering for teaching and learning, few efforts have engaged in establishing an epistemological foundation for the study of engineering in P-12 classrooms. Specifically, little research has been conducted to examine the engineering content and practices that are developmentally appropriate for P-12 learners.
Greg J. Strimel
added a research item
While current initiatives in P-12 engineering education are promising, a clear vision and roadmap eludes educators. Little is known about how children progress through engineering learning. Few curricula have explored and investigated how an articulate P-12 engineering program may contribute the general literacy of our children. The Advancing Excellence in P-12 Engineering Education (AEEE) project represents a mandate-a call to action-to build a community with a shared focus, vision, and research agenda to ensure that every child is given the opportunity to think, learn, and act like an engineer. This paper will present the first year results of the AEEE project which includes a Taxonomy of Concepts for Secondary Engineering and the Progression of Learning in Engineering framework for articulating a sequence of knowledge and skills that students are desired to learn as they progress toward engineering literacy.
Greg J. Strimel
added an update
The 2nd Advancing Excellence in P-12 Engineering Education Symposium: Equity Through Engineering Curriculum & Pedagogy
Baltimore, MD – May 29th, 2018 – May 31st, 2018
Background
  • The Advancing Excellence in P-12 Engineering Education (AEEE) Project and the 2nd AEEE Symposium seek to provide two powerful benefits: first, promote collaboration to pursue a vision/direction for P-12 Engineering Education; and second, the development of a coherent content framework for scaffolding the teaching of engineering and design at the high school level. The 2nd AEEE Symposium will specifically focus on the theme of Equity Through Engineering Curriculum & Pedagogy and build upon the resulting work from the 1st symposium which included a defined Taxonometric Structure of Engineering Concepts and Progressions of Learning in Engineering (PLiE) for secondary school programs.
  • During the 2nd AEEE symposium, participants will hear from national leaders in engineering education, industry, and curriculum development to serve as provocateurs as they work in breakout groups to review and refine the PLiEs and recommend culturally-relevant engineering instructional vignettes and activities.
Register
  • If you are interested in participating in the 2nd AEEE Symposium, please complete the form found at https://goo.gl/forms/iMCU62eOe0Mbf1xE2.
  • We anticipate a larger community this year, with a focus on Pedagogy and Curriculum. The format will be similar to last year, with meals provided, and breakout sessions around specific topics. Additional information regarding the project, can be found at: https://www.iteea.org/Activities/2142/AEEE_P12.aspx .
  • Specifics, including an agenda, hotel information, and participants, will be shared in the coming month to all registered attendees.
Webinar – To discuss logistics and details.
  • Wednesday, March 14, 2018
  • 4:00 pm  |  Eastern Daylight Time (New York, GMT-04:00)  |  45 mins
  • Webinar Link
Should you have any questions, please do not hesitate to reach out to Dr. Greg Strimel (gstrimel@purdue.edu)
.
We look forward to your attendance and participation!
 
Greg J. Strimel
added a research item
Scientific discoveries are a driver for advancing our technological world (ITEA/ITEEA; 2000/2002/2007). As more knowledge is acquired through scientific inquiry, people can better design and develop technological inventions and innovations (Knowles, Kelley, & Hurd, 2016). In turn, these novel technologies can aid in making new scientific discoveries, thus driving an ongoing cycle of technological advancement. However, in the process of designing and advancing our technological world, people can turn to the study of life and its phenomena to inspire and inform their designs. Nature is functional as well as beautiful. As we study the phenomena or functions of living organisms within their environments, we can often find resolutions to some of the most challenging design problems. Therefore, design inspirations can truly be found by simply looking outside the window.
Greg J. Strimel
added a research item
Administration and funding can cause Engineering/Technology Education (ETE) programs to thrive or die. To administrators, the production/prototyping equipment and laboratory setting are often viewed as the features that set ETE apart from other school subjects. Your lab is a unique gift, as well as a responsibility. If an administrator can see that the lab space is not properly maintained, then your instruction and classroom management may come into question. Moreover, if a student is injured while using equipment that is not functioning properly, then the school and/or the teacher can be held liable for the incident (Love, 2014). Therefore, teachers should have maintenance plans established that document the use, routine and preventive maintenance, repair schedule, work order and receipt, and contingency plan for the different equipment throughout the ETE laboratory (Meeks, 1976). ETE labs, as well as the equipment in them, need to be properly maintained to foster a safer hands-on learning environment. Proper lab maintenance plans can differ between schools and even classrooms due to differences in equipment, physical space, and students. However, even as technologies and learning environments evolve, it is important to understand the role of routine and preventative maintenance in the safety of students and teachers alike. Getting students involved with maintaining a safer laboratory can provide instructors with extra support to identify and address broken or defective equipment, as well as establish good practices for students in future work environments. While students or teachers should not be solely responsible for the maintenance of the laboratory, they all must contribute. A carefully developed maintenance plan can involve students, promote respectable workplace practices amongst pupils, help ensure a well-functioning laboratory, and establish a paper trail of equipment maintenance and repair; thereby mitigating risk and sustaining a safer, more effective learning environment. Therefore, the following sections will discuss the role of maintenance in the ETE laboratory, describe routine and preventive maintenance, and detail support for the creation of a student-centered/teacher supervised maintenance plan.
Greg J. Strimel
added 3 research items
The student Lab Workbook provides hands-on practice to be completed in the school lab setting under the guidance of an instructor or trainer. Aligned to the text, the Lab Workbook enables students to demonstrate learning in a very practical and thoroughly engaging manner.
Greg J. Strimel
added a research item
The emphasis on engineering at the P-12 level continues to increase (Kelley, 2008; National Research Council [NRC], 2009; National Academy of Engineering [NAE] & NRC, 2014; NAE, 2017; NGSS Lead States, 2013; Strimel, Grubbs, & Wells, 2016). This expanded interest can be attributed to the idea that engineering education assists in creating a better educated populace and developing a workforce ready to meet the needs of high-demand careers of the 21st century (NRC, 2009). As engineering education is considered to have a natural ability to tie mathematics and science together through authentic problem-solving contexts, the inclusion of engineering into P-12 education is now seen as an approach to address challenges facing the U.S. educational system (NAE & NRC, 2014; NRC, 2009; 2010). Today there is seemingly broad agreement among educational stakeholders that the teaching of engineering in primary and secondary schools must be expanded to better prepare students with the skills necessary for economic success (NAE & NRC, 2014). For example, recent legislation has been proposed to award grants to state and local education agencies to support, develop, and implement formal and informal engineering education programs in elementary schools and secondary schools (H.R.4023 -Developing Tomorrow's Engineering and Technical Workforce Act, H.R.4023, 2017). Despite greater attention to the value, importance, and use of engineering for teaching and learning, the education community has minimally engaged in establishing the deliberate and coherent study of engineering (NAE & NRC, 2014; National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, & Medicine, 2017). Specifically, few efforts have been conducted to examine the engineering content and practices that are developmentally appropriate for P-12 education (National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, & Medicine, 2017; NRC, 2009; 2010). However, the increased emphasis on P–12 engineering and the uncertainty of how it should be taught can provide an opportunity for the technology and engineering education (TEE) profession to expand its relevancy and demonstrate its value proposition to the nation’s education system by better addressing public demands and needs through a transition to an engineering education model. In doing so, TEE is afforded the chance to deepen its content and practices, establish a coherent content base founded on engineering and design, attend to the paucity and rigor of current engineering concepts and experiences within P-12 Education, and ultimately, address the TEE identity crisis stemming from the term technology (Grubbs, Strimel, & Huffman, In Press). Accordingly, Strimel and Grubbs (2016) suggested revitalizing TEE through the transition to an engineering education model that supports a consistent and coherent course sequence for all students focused on cultivating engineering ways of thinking and doing (not just a career path). To address this recommendation, this paper will discuss a brief rationale for the transition, present professional perceptions of the engineering transition, introduce a project launched by the authors to establish an engineering education model, and preliminary results of the project.
Greg J. Strimel
added an update
Greg J. Strimel
added 2 research items
Innovation capacity continues to be a national concern as U.S. competitiveness and prosperity in a global economy depends on developing and maintaining competitive industries and a strong innovation-capable workforce (National Academy of Engineering, 2015; National Academy of Engineering, 2017; The White House, 2016; OECD, 2007). Innovation, considered a driver of national prosperity, is believed to account for approximately 50% of the annual gross domestic product growth in the United States (U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation, 2015). A weak emphasis on innovation and design in education, especially at the primary level, has contributed to challenges in meeting the STEM-related job demands across the nation (National Academy of Engineering, 2015). The National Academy of Engineering’s report titled Educate to Innovate: Factors That Influence Innovation specifically states that innovative thinking should be an expectation of educational communities and that all students should be exposed to it early in their educational experience through a variety of delivery methods. While there have been great accomplishments in STEM education at the primary level through a variety of initiatives, far too few students are exposed to design and innovation at a young age (Change the Equation, 2016). However, engineering/technology education through design-based pedagogies, especially activities that connect families, can help foster an identity of innovation for young students and encourage those prepared to fill the roles necessary to solve the grand challenges of the future (Strimel, 2014a; 2014b). Therefore, this article proposes cultivating a family of design thinkers and provides an example to do so at the primary level.
Broadening participation in STEM education programs and boosting the STEM workforce, specifically increasing interest in engineering, has been a growing focus of the education system in the United States (Lawrence & Mancus, 2012; Strimel, Grubbs, & Wells, 2017). The Bureau of Labor Statistics projects the overall STEM employment to grow by 8.9% from 2014 to 2024 which is compared to just 6.4% of non-STEM occupations—with careers related to engineering being one of the fastest growing areas (Noonan, 2017). However, this is happening while the interest in and preparation for post-secondary engineering studies have continued to struggle (Becker, 2010; Change the Equation, 2016). Furthermore, females have typically been the least engaged in STEM careers—often as a result of societal and cultural influences—and therefore, underrepresented in engineering careers (Girl Scout Research Institute, 2012). The National Research Council (2013) reported that only 12% of practicing engineers are women. The American Society for Engineering Education (ASEE) (2016) reported a total of 664,911 students, both full-time and part-time, were enrolled in an engineering major in 2015 with only 21.4% of those students being women. Additionally, ASEE stated that only 12.5% of those enrolled in an engineering technology program were female. As a result, gender is heavily skewed in some of the highest-earning undergraduate majors that are required for the critically needed STEM jobs. As Mason (2010) states, structural barriers exist across all levels of education that discourages underserved populations from pursuing pathways towards the STEM fields. And, just as the engineering workforce in the United States includes relatively few women, it also lacks the benefits of the participation of underserved minorities. This was emphasized in the results of the first National Assessment of Educational Progress in Technology and Engineering Literacy which uncovered that low-income and underserved minority students lagged the farthest behind in regards to engineering proficiency as their exposure to engineering at the P-12 level is completely left to chance (Change the Equation, 2016). These concerns are occurring at a time when the demand for high-quality engineering professionals continues to rise as the economy is increasingly dependent upon a skilled STEM workforce (Change the Equation, 2016). As a result, the United States is theoretically missing out on the full potential and gender/cultural benefits of all populations to meet the nation’s critical workforce needs (Lawrence & Mancuso, 2012). In reaction to these economic concerns, programs such as Project Lead the Way, Engineering is Elementary, Girls in Engineering, and many others try to encourage a diverse range of students to become interested in engineering by providing opportunities to learn about engineering at a young age and at no cost to the students. Yet, engaging all students can be a challenge when they each have different backgrounds, motivations, and goals for their learning. Therefore, more work is necessary to reach students who may not view engineering as an engaging opportunity to obtain their goals. For example, students who are interested in healthcare, nursing, physical therapy, or generally helping people and other seemingly non-engineering pursuits such as athletics may be influenced by the ethics of care and social responsibility contexts provided through the field of biomedical engineering. Many students express interest in helping people by exploring the healthcare field. However, some students may find certain elements of the field that are not engaging to them (i.e. working with blood, needles, terminally ill patients, severe injuries). Nevertheless, biomedical engineering offers a positive alternative by allowing people to be directly involved in the care of others while still being removed enough from the patient to make the job more appealing to them personally. Additionally, some students may express a greater interest in athletics. Biomedical engineering can also offer the opportunity to be involved in athletics in a way that makes them safer and improves the athletic experience. Here, the authors introduce biomedical engineering through current issues involving athletic concussion injuries, chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE), and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) diagnosis. This may provide a way to engage students interested in healthcare, athletics, or generally helping people who may typically be unengaged with the thought of engineering or technical careers.
Greg J. Strimel
added 2 research items
Workforce development has become a key issue for manufacturers across the United States. According to Deloitte's 2015 Skills Gap Report, manufacturers are not maintaining the workers they need because of factors including, but not limited to, lack of interest in manufacturing careers, short-age of qualified new talent, and retirements in their aging workforce. Additionally, evidence has indicated that students leaving high school lack the employability and technical skills needed to be effective contributors to the manufacturing workforce and regional economic ecosystem (Adecco, 2014). To address these concerns, the authors, with support from the Indiana Next Generation Manufacturing Competitiveness Center, launched the Improving Regional Manufacturing Ecosystems (IRME) project, which seeks to advance the next generation manufacturing workforce through high school engineering/technology (ET) programs. The general focus of the project is to build relationships between industry, education, and the surrounding communities to better meet the needs of the local manufacturing ecosystem by gathering/analyzing data to identify regional workforce issues and develop industry-driven design projects that strive to cultivate the technical and employability skills for the next generation workforce. As a result, this article aims to share the IRME project framework as a resource for ET teachers to engage with regional industries and provide an accurate depiction of manufacturing in class-rooms, spread awareness of career opportunities in advanced manufacturing, and help cultivate student skills that translate to the school’s local manufacturing ecosystem.
Interest in engineering at the P-12 level has increased in recent years, largely in response to STEM educational reform (Strimel, Grubbs, & Wells, 2016). One of the driving forces is to expose young people to the field of engineering, in an effort to cultivate a pipeline for a STEMcapable workforce (NAE & NRC, 2009). Another motivator, is to engage all students in more meaningful and authentic activities, to spark their curiosity, and develop their critical thinking skills (Grubbs & Strimel, 2015; Kaplan-Leiserson, 2015). Simply, engineering is viewed as beneficial to student learning and success in life, not just for workforce preparation. Consequently, engineering, as a process, is increasingly being utilized across all P-12 school subjects (e.g. Next Generation Science Standards, Standards for Technological Literacy, K-12 Computer Science Framework) and other outreach efforts (e.g. Maker Spaces and Maker Movements). Despite greater attention to the value, importance, and use of engineering for teaching and learning, the educational community has engaged minimally in the deliberate and coherent study of it (NAE & NRC, 2014). Specifically, few efforts have been conducted to examine the engineering content and skillsets that are developmentally appropriate for P-12 education (National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, & Medicine, 2017; NRC, 2010). Yet, the recent report, Increasing the Roles and Significance of Teachers in Policymaking for K-12 Engineering Education: Proceedings of a Convocation (National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, & Medicine, 2017), recommends, that there needs to be greater awareness of what engineering content knowledge teachers need to address different grade bands. Furthermore, experienced teachers, could work with content experts to “develop a framework or taxonomy for engineering education in different contexts” (p. 15). As there have been no updates to the Standards for Technological Literacy (ITEA/ITEEA, 2000/2002/2007), despite adding the word engineering to the profession’s title in 2009, the school discipline of Technology and Engineering Education (TEE), can lead this charge. Action would align, with the notion that the STLs were recommended as not being “static and immutable”, rather, they “as is true for all good standards will undergo periodic reassessment and reevaluation. It is very much a living document." (ITEA/ITEEA, 2000/2002/2007, pg. vi). Thus, an update, including a more focused and in depth attempt to illustrate engineering and design as a content base and way of thinking, is necessary, and timely, given the recent release of the Next Generation Science Standards, the National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP) Technology and Engineering Literacy (TEL) assessment results, American Society of Engineering Education Professional Development Standards, and upcoming Advanced Placement Engineering course. Consequently, preliminary attempts have been conceived and proposed by the authors of this article to provide a curricular framework for the coherent study of engineering, in relation to the currently existing discipline. The frameworks proposed within, are meant to be working documents, reviewed by stakeholders within and external of our own professional community, with the purpose of more explicitly detailing the experiences of P-12 students, their development of engineering literacy, and the subsequent learning progressions associated with said development. Lastly, given the vague nature of the term engineering education, and historical misconception of Technology Education (e.g. Dugger & Naik, 2001), an interpretation of what P-12 engineering education is, and is not, will also be discussed.
Greg J. Strimel
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The AEEE High School Engineering Research Symposium was recently featured in the ASEE Pre-College Engineering Education newsletter. See attached.
 
Greg J. Strimel
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The emphasis on and implementation of P-12 engineering education has continued to gain momentum in the United States (Grubbs & Strimel, 2016). Yet, the struggle to keep the technology and engineering education (TEE) school subject strongly positioned in elementary and secondary schools endures (Starkweather, 2015), which de Vries (2015) believes may be result of a lacking epistemic basis for the subject. For example, TEE worldwide can be viewed as deficient of agreed upon fundamental concepts, laws, and principles that could put it on a distinguishable level with science and mathematics education (De Vries, 2015). Unlike these other school subjects, TEE has had a history of evolving dynamic content. This content once involved woodworking and metalworking but now embraces topics such as computer-aided design, robotics, and control systems and fosters student abilities to tinker, design, create, critique, make, and invent (Starkweather, 2015). While increased focus on these more recent topics may be the main reason that a student chooses to become an engineer, engineering technologist, technician, computer scientist, and even a TEE teacher (See Figure 1), the subject continues to have a positioning problem (Starkwether, 2015). Strimel, Grubbs, and Wells (2016) offered an approach to harness the engineering momentum and realign TEE with post-secondary engineering-related studies. The purpose is to use engineering as the epistemic or knowledge base for the subject, thus establishing stable content and creating a better position for TEE within schools. As a result, more students could be exposed to coursework focused on engineering and technological literacy and consequently, improve their capabilities to design, invent, innovate, and address societal problems. It can be difficult, however, for students to understand what they will experience as they leave high school TEE programs and enter post-secondary studies. While all of the career fields listed in Figure 1 are important, this article focuses specifically on demystifying the transition from TEE to post-secondary engineering studies in an effort to outline some foundational content for the evolving TEE school subject and to provide a guide for teachers to use with students who may show interest in pursuing an engineering career.
Greg J. Strimel
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The authors conducted an updated content analysis of P-16 curricula, educational standards, industry-driven standards for post-secondary education, and design cognition research to (a) identify the engineering design processes used in P-16 curricula and design practices used in industry, (b) determine the similarities and differences between these engineering design procedures and practices, and (c) examine the relationship of engineering design cognition research and the processes highlighted in P-16 technology and engineering curriculum. This investigation was enacted to provide a foundation for future research and development endeavors to better scaffold the teaching of engineering design fundamentals.
Greg J. Strimel
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To enhance the appropriately scaffolded teaching of P-16 engineering by developing and studying engineering design-based instructional interventions.
 
Greg J. Strimel
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Open-ended design problems have become an important component in our educational landscape (Grubbs & Strimel, 2015; Jonassen, Strobel, & Lee, 2006; NRC, 2012; Strimel, 2014a). The ability of students to confront open-ended problem scenarios, think creatively, and produce novel designs have all been lauded as necessary skills for today’s 21st century learners (Partnership for 21st Century Skills, 2016). This emphasis on open-ended design problems in problem-based learning (PBL) scenarios has been tied to workforce and higher education preparation for students (NAE & NRC, 2014; NRC, 2009; Strimel; 2014b). However, little research has been conducted to identify the impact of potentially-influential factors on student success in such open-ended design scenarios. Therefore, the researchers examined data from 706 middle school students, working in small groups, as they completed an open-ended design challenge to determine the relationships between a variety of potentially-influential factors and student performance, as measured through adaptive comparative judgment. The analysis of the data revealed several relationships, significant and not significant, between identified variables and student success on open-ended design challenges.
Greg J. Strimel
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Foundations of Engineering & Technology has been fully revised by leading educators for a modern generation. The text illustrates how technology affects the world in which we live and how engineering is needed to create technology. Students will learn why technological systems work the way they do and why an engineering design process is needed to create any technological system. The areas of technology discussed in the Standards for Technological Literacy, as well as corresponding areas of engineering, are explored following an in ­depth look at the engineering design process. Numerous student ­friendly features provide practical examples of the impacts of technology and engineering on our world. STEM Applications and Engineering Design Challenges help students apply chapter content to real­ world situations. This book is fully correlated to the Standards for Technological Literacy. Close Reading features help students focus on the material in each chapter. STEM Connections and Academic Connections relate chapter content to math, science, history, and communications. Career Corner features present information about careers related to various technological fields.
Greg J. Strimel
added 2 research items
The STEM Preservice Teacher Spotlight is dedicated to recognizing future elementary STEM educators who are enrolled in innovative elementary STEM education programs. The universities featured in this section believe these nominated students are inventive, engaging, and fun future STEM elementary teachers. These students are excited to share some of the great things they are learning in their STEM programs!
The advancement of technology and the progression of society are unquestionably linked. Society shapes the paths of technological development based on people’s needs and desires and, in turn, technology drives changes in society (ITEA/ITEEA, 2000/2002/2007). Therefore, to properly understand technology and to become technologically literate, students should explore the connection between society and technology as well as examine how they shape one another. The following activity will allow students to explore the relationship between technology and society in the context of genetically modified organisms (GMOs).
Greg J. Strimel
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Time: Five hours Lesson Overview/Purpose: Students will engage in an engineering challenge to design a " release-mechanism " for a quadcopter enabling it to deliver supplies to a remote village with difficult access. This will require students to learn the basic principles of flight, practice flying a quadcopter, and research the geological and climate features of the region in which the remote village is located. Core Content Standards: • Standards for Technological Literacy 9: Students will develop an understanding of engineering design. o Benchmark C-The engineering design process involves defining a problem, generating ideas, selecting a solution, testing the solution(s), making the item, evaluating it, and presenting the results. o Benchmark D – When designing an object, it is important to be creative and consider all ideas. o Benchmark E – Models are used to communicate and test design ideas and processes. Global or Local Issue: Transportation of goods and supplies to remote mountain regions can be extremely difficult. Medical supplies—a highly valuable and important necessity for local inhabitants—are not quickly deliverable using current transportation systems. The development of a new method for delivering much-needed supplies through would greatly benefit a large number of people living in remote regions. STEM Standards: • Science o NGSS 3-5 ETS 1-1 Engineering Design: Define a simple design problem reflecting a need or a want that includes specified criteria for success and constraints on materials, time, or cost. o NGSS – 3-5 ETS 1-2 Engineering Design: Generate and compare multiple possible solutions to a problem based on how well each is likely to meet the criteria and constraints of the problem. o NGSS – 3 PS2 2 Motion & Stability: Forces & Interactions: Make observations and/or measurements of an object's motion to provide evidence that a pattern can be used to predict future motion. o NGSS – 3 ESS2-1 Earth's Systems: Represent data in tables and graphical displays to describe typical weather conditions expected during a particular season. o NGSS – 3-ESS2-2 Earth's Systems: Obtain and combine information to describe climates in different regions of the world. • ELA/Literacy o Ask and answer questions to demonstrate understanding of a text, referring explicitly to the text as the basis for the answers. o Conduct short research projects that build knowledge about a topic. o Draw evidence from literary or informational texts to support analysis, reflection, and research. • Mathematical Practices o Reason abstractly and quantitatively; Model with mathematics; Use appropriate tools strategically. Student Outcomes: (1) Students will design, develop, test, revise, and present a solution to the proposed challenge employing the practices of engineering design. (2) Students will evaluate their solutions following the challenge criteria and constraints. (3) Students will explain the forces of lift and thrust to predict the movement of their quadcopter. (4) Students will conduct a short research project to understand the climate of the region in which their quadcopter is to be deployed and how that will impact the flight of their vehicle. Enduring Understandings: • The engineering design process involves defining a problem, generating ideas, selecting a solution, testing the solution(s), making the item, evaluating it, and presenting the result (Engineering/Technology). • Potential for quadcopters, and similar technologies, to revolutionize transportation (Engineering/Technology) • Mathematical practices are important to design solutions to problems and carrying out investigations (Math) • The importance of investigating geological features and climates when designing solutions to problems (Science)
Greg J. Strimel
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The interest in engineering education for K-12 students has been rising (Carr, Bennett IV, & Strobel, 2012; Grubbs & Strimel, 2015; Strimel, Grubbs, & Wells, 2016), and the importance of engineering education is discussed as early as the elementary school level (Hegedus, 2014). Petroski (2003) claims that children are ready to learn engineering because their play activities are similar to engineering and design activities, such as making, moving, and rearranging things. Studies have examined how elementary school students perceive engineering or engineers (Cunningham, Lachapelle, & Lindgren-Streicher 2005) and found that elementary-aged students associated engineering with repairing, installing, driving, constructing, and improving machines and devices. Similarly, Capobianco, Diefes-Dux, Mena, and Weller (2011) found that elementary school students in grades 1 through 5 perceive engineering as fixing, building, making, and using vehicles, engines, and tools. However, Capobianco et al (2011) found that students in grades 4 and 5 could recognize that engineering activities include designing—a hallmark characteristic of engineering (Dym, Agogino, Eris, Frey, & Leifer, 2005). In that context, engineering education is important to elementary-aged students because engineering design-based learning can help younger students to expand their limited perceptions of engineering beyond just using, fixing, and improving things (Cunningham & Hester, 2007) to include the practices of informed design (Grubbs & Strimel, 2015). Engineering activities can also help students foster teamwork and collaboration skills as they work together in open-ended design environments (Hammack, Ivey, Utley, & High, 2015). Furthermore, engineering learning activities can support children to acquire abilities to understand problems, plan and develop solutions, and share their ideas with others (McCullar, 2015). Studies also show that engineering activities for children can indirectly influence their learning and achievement in science and mathematics (Katehi, Pearson, & Feder, 2009). In the long term, exposure to engineering education can assist elementary school students in developing career aspirations for engineering and other STEM careers (Capobianco, French, & Diefes-Dux, 2012; Hammack, Ivey, Utley, & High, 2015; Hegedus, 2014; Katehi, Pearson, & Feder, 2009; McCullar, 2015). There have been multiple attempts to integrate engineering education into the elementary school curriculum. One example is Engineering is Elementary (EiE), a curriculum for grades 1 through 5. The curriculum, developed by the Boston Museum of Science, aims to increase students’ awareness of engineering and technology concepts. The curriculum has 20 units, and each individual unit has an engineering design challenge related to a specific science topic. As teachers use these units their students are provided opportunities to learn science and other STEM concepts through engineering design activities (EiE, 2004). Another example of elementary engineering curriculum is the Project Lead The Way (PLTW) Launch program. This program was also developed to support STEM education for grades 1 through 5 and is comprised of 25 interdisciplinary modules to help develop a student’s design thinking, communication, and collaboration skills while engaging in learning activities associated with topics in computer science, engineering, and biomedical science (Project Lead The Way, 2013). Furthermore, the International Technology and Engineering Educators Association’s STEM Center for Teaching and Learning offers the Engineering byDesigntm curriculum program which includes curriculum for grades K through 5 that integrates concepts of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics through the context of grand societal challenges. It is evident from these initiatives that engaging students in engineering at an early age is important to help children understand engineering-related career opportunities, involve students in integrated STEM learning, and aid in developing student skills for solving the challenges of the future. Whether or not a school chooses to implement one of the established elementary engineering curriculum programs, all elementary teachers can develop engaging engineering design-based activities that spark students’ interest in engineering-related careers and develops their abilities to design, tinker, make, invent, and innovate. This article will explore one engaging way to expose students to engineering at an early age through the context of quadcopters. As stated by Sutton, Busby, & Kelly (2016) quadcopters “represent an intersection where science, technology, engineering, and mathematics come together in a practical way” (p. 8).
Greg J. Strimel
added a research item
Recently there has been overwhelming political and financial support to include computer science (CS) in K-12 school curricula across the United States. With such strong support for CS it has been questioned where the subject would be best situated in already crowded K-12 curricula. Some have proposed integrating it within secondary level technology and engineering (T&E) courses (Ernst & Clark, 2007, 2009; Wright, Rich, & Leatham, 2012) or using CS courses in place of T&E education classes (Maryland State Department of Education [MSDE], 2016). To better inform decisions regarding CS in T&E education, this study used a multiple comparative case study (Yin, 2014) to analyze the alignment of subconcepts from the K-12 CS Framework with benchmarks from the International Technology and Engineering Educators Association's (ITEEA) Standards for Technological Literacy (STL). Additionally, a content analysis was conducted to examine curricular resources that claimed to teach CS concepts while addressing components of the STL's designed world. The purpose of the study was to investigate similarities and differences among both the CS and T&E standards and to identify curricular resources that successfully addressed multiple STL while integrating CS concepts. The findings revealed that there was limited alignment between the computational thinking and programming-focused CS framework and the broader engineering design and technology systems-focused STL. However, some curricular resources successfully used CS concepts to address many standards from the designed world section of the STL. From these findings, implications and recommendations for integrating CS within T&E education were provided.
Greg J. Strimel
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Project goal
To enhance the appropriately scaffolded teaching of P-16 engineering by developing and studying engineering design-based instructional interventions.
Background and motivation
Dr. Greg J. Strimel is an assistant professor of engineering/technology teacher education at Purdue University in West Lafayette, Indiana. Strimel’s efforts are to enhance the appropriately scaffolded teaching of P-12 engineering by studying engineering design-based instructional interventions and engineering design cognition. Previously, Strimel was a teaching assistant professor of engineering fundamentals at West Virginia University where he also served as the university director of K-12 initiatives. Prior to his time at West Virginia, he served as a high school career and technology education department chair, engineering/technology secondary teacher, and an infantryman in the U.S. Army. Strimel earned a B.S. and M.Ed. in technology education and a Ph.D. in STEM education. He has authored several curriculum projects and publications focused on P-12 practices in engineering design. Strimel has been recognized as a New Technology & Engineering Teacher of the Year, Emerging Leader in Engineering/Technology Education, and 21st Century Fellow in the International Technology & Engineering Educators Association.
 
Greg J. Strimel
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This evidence-based practice paper examines the use of an alternative form of assessment for engineering design projects called adaptive comparative judgment (ACJ). The authors employed ACJ to assess undergraduate engineering student design projects and compared the results to traditional marking assessment techniques. The authors sought to examine reliability and validity of ACJ in comparison with traditional assessment techniques. Student work from 16 first-year engineering majors was initially graded by the course instructor and then a panel of five judges completed the ACJ method to evaluate the same work. This work consisted of design portfolios and pictures of design prototypes. The authors conducted an analysis of the reliability and validity of the ACJ when compared to the performance data of each student's prototype and the traditional rubric used by the course instructor to evaluate the project. This paper aims to introduce the method of using ACJ for engineering design projects and make the case for this method based on current research efforts and the preliminary findings of this study.
There is much support in the research literature and in the standards for the integration of engineering into science education, particularly the problem solving approach of engineering design. Engineering design is most often represented through design-based learning. However, teachers often do not have a clear definition of engineering design, appropriate models for teaching students, or the knowledge and experience to develop integrative learning activities. The purpose of this article is to examine definitions of engineering design and how it can be utilized to create a transdisciplinary approach to education to advance all students' general STEM literacy skills and 21st century cognitive competencies. Suggestions for educators who incorporate engineering design into their instruction will also be presented.
Students are seldom given an authentic experience within school that allows them the opportunity to solve real-life complex engineering design problems that have meaning to their lives and/or the greater society. They are often confined to learning environments that are limited by the restrictions set by course content for assessment purposes and school/teacher educational boundaries. However, the spotlight on Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) Education has increased the focus of implementing multisensory activities based on meaningful tasks that motivate students to learn and develop creativity, problem-solving, and innovation skills. Within STEM Education, teachers may be requested to provide students with hands-on, problem-based activities that focus on real-life issues (Clemm, 2012). In technology and engineering education, design briefs are instructional tools used to provide hands-on, problem-based learning opportunities to students. However, these instructional tools can sometimes lack authenticity and true real-world problem-solving experience. Commonly, design briefs offer students the criteria and constraints that they must follow to create a variety of solutions to a previously defined problem statement (Hutchinson & Karsnitz, 1994). However, Standards for Technological Literacy (ITEA/ITEEA, 2000/2002/2007) explains that problems are seldom clearly defined, with all criteria and constraints identified.
Greg J. Strimel
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The core subjects in P-12 education have a common key characteristic that makes them stable over time. That characteristic is a steady content. For example, in the sciences, the basics of biology remain the same—the cell is the basic building block around which organisms are defined, characterized, structured, etc. Similarly, the basics of physics and chemistry are relatively constant, with incremental increases in understanding adding to those basics when impacted by new discoveries over time. The same case can be made for mathematics, whose basic content has been unchanged for centuries and only expanded upon as old theories make way for new. In the same sense, the content of language arts has remained relatively constant over time. As a result, these subjects have maintained their relevancy in P-12 schooling as core knowledge all students should acquire.
As the presence of engineering content and practices increases in science education, the distinction between the two fields of science and technology education becomes even more vague than previously theorized. Furthermore, the addition of engineering to the title of the profession raises the question of the true aim of technology education. As a result, the technology and engineering education community must effectively communicate its role in an evolving STEM education landscape. During this time of change, it is important that we understand how the technology education profession has transitioned in the past while we figure out how to balance traditions and contemporary needs. The authors present three pathways that appear most salient in moving forward: (1) adhering to the fundamental goals of technology education, (2) collaborating with science education to potentially become a core discipline, or (3) revitalizing the field through a shift to engineering education. A final recommendation is made to energize the field by centering on becoming a true provider of K–12 engineering education.