Asee peer logo

A Teacher's Journey Integrating Engineering in a Middle School Science Classroom and the Effects on Student Attitudes (RTP)

Download Paper |


2016 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition


New Orleans, Louisiana

Publication Date

June 26, 2016

Start Date

June 26, 2016

End Date

August 28, 2016





Conference Session

K-12 & Pre-College Engineering Division: Research-to-Practice: Principles of K-12 Engineering Education and Practice

Tagged Division

Pre-College Engineering Education Division

Page Count




Permanent URL

Download Count


Request a correction

Paper Authors


Christie Jilek West Ada School District

visit author page

Christie Jilek is a Physical Science teacher for the West Ada School District in Meridian, ID. She is currently completing coursework toward a Master's in STEM Education at Boise State University.

visit author page


Noah Salzman Boise State University

visit author page

Noah Salzman is an Assistant Professor at Boise State University, where he is a member of the Electrical and Computer Engineering Department and IDoTeach, a pre-service STEM teacher preparation program. His work focuses on the transition from pre-college to university engineering programs, how exposure to engineering prior to matriculation affects the experiences of engineering students, and engineering in the K-12 classroom. He has worked as a high school science, mathematics, and engineering and technology teacher, as well as several years of electrical and mechanical engineering design experience as a practicing engineer. He received his Bachelor of Science degree in Engineering from Swarthmore College, his Master's of Education degree from the University of Massachusetts, and a Master's of Science in Mechanical Engineering and Doctorate in Engineering Education from Purdue University.

visit author page

Download Paper |


As teachers are encouraged to help students become problem solvers, incorporating engineering methods into the classroom has become an important theme of conversation. The purpose of this paper is to explore the change in student attitudes when integrating engineering instruction within a middle school science classroom. This study involves 8th grade students located within a single science teacher’s classroom exploring the integration of engineering activities and content for the first time. We assessed student attitudes using a survey constructed by the Friday Institute1 aimed measuring perception toward STEM related fields and study. Surveys were administered before and after engineering lessons.

Along with student perceptions toward STEM content, we will describe the journey and thought process throughout the 8-week period from the implementing teacher’s point of view. We will detail the implementation process, reflect on student success and struggles, describe perceptions of student achievement based on student responses and completed work, as well as present an overarching reflection on the author’s journey throughout the process. Through the study and reflection others can learn how to bring engineering design into the classroom. It is also our goal that this process and study, including implementation, will help teachers become more confident adding engineering into their common practices and aid them in finding a place to begin.

Jilek, C., & Salzman, N. (2016, June), A Teacher's Journey Integrating Engineering in a Middle School Science Classroom and the Effects on Student Attitudes (RTP) Paper presented at 2016 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, New Orleans, Louisiana. 10.18260/p.26465

ASEE holds the copyright on this document. It may be read by the public free of charge. Authors may archive their work on personal websites or in institutional repositories with the following citation: © 2016 American Society for Engineering Education. Other scholars may excerpt or quote from these materials with the same citation. When excerpting or quoting from Conference Proceedings, authors should, in addition to noting the ASEE copyright, list all the original authors and their institutions and name the host city of the conference. - Last updated April 1, 2015